|The magnificent French baritone Gérard Souzay|
Yesterday we featured music by Francis Poulenc who is leading our poll of your favorite French composers. Today we thought we'd feature the three composers at the bottom of the poll. Apparently, early music isn't particularly popular with readers as both Lully and Charpentier at the bottom along with the 19th century composer Ernest Chausson. We hope that these clips will introduce some new music to readers. As we so often do when we feature French music, the first two clips are from our beloved French barihunk Gérard Souzay. If you've never heard Souzay sing Lully's "Je ne puis en votre malheur," you're in for quite a treat.
Gérard Souzay sings Ernest Chausson's "Le Colibri":
Le Colibri (The Hummingbird)
The hummingbird, the green prince of the heights, feeling the dew and seeing the sun's clear light shining into his nest of woven grass, shoots up in the air like a gleaming dart. Hurriedly he flies to the nearby marsh where the waves of bamboo rustle and bend, and the red hibiscus with the heavenly scent opens to show its moist and glistening heart. Down to the flower he flies, alights from above, and from the rosy cup drinks so much love that he dies, not knowing if he could drink it dry. Even so, my darling, on your pure lips my soul and senses would have wished to die on contact with that first full-fragrant kiss.
Gérard Souzay sings Jean Baptiste Lully's beautiful "Je ne puis en votre malheur" from "Persée":
Here is an excerpt from Marc-Antoine Charpentier's "Magnificat" with countertenor Dominique Visse, tenor Michel Laplénie and bass Philippe Cantor: