Charles Gounod

Au rossignol, song for voice & piano

    Description by James Leonard

    Gounod did not call his setting of Alphonse de Lamartine's Au rossignol (To the Nightingale) of 1867 a chanson -- it is far too rarefied for that -- or a melodie -- it is far too simple for that -- but a harmonie poetique -- a perfect nomenclature for a work for voice and piano of such refined and sublime lyricism. With its incessantly repeated quarter-note chords, the piano accompaniment is virtually vestigial. With its nearly nonexistent modulations and chromatic inflections, its harmonies are almost anodyne. And with its strophic setting of Lamartine's nine verses, its form is seemingly soporific. But Gounod's legato melody is a thing of endless lyrical beauty, a long and rapturous meditation on nature, life, love, and God.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2008 Onyx ONYX 4030
    2007 Zephyr 129
    2002 Pearl GEM 0178
    2000 INA Memoire Vive 262002
    1999 Malibran Music 101
    1999 Testament 3161
    1994 Symposium SYMCD1172
    1993 Bluebell 004
    1993 Hyperion CDA66801/2
    Music Memories 30221
    Music Memoria 30373
    Nimbus 5214
    Fone 8502
    Memoire Vive 262018
    Memoire Vive 262002