La mélodie française

The art of French song

While the German Romantic Lied is a well-defined and well-known genre, its French equivalent, the mélodie, originating mainly in romance and arriving somewhat later, elicits another type of interest on the part of the general public: in fact, most of the mélodies that have entered the repertoire are musical settings of texts by the greatest French poets, like Berlioz's Nuits d'été, which in 1841 led the way for songs with orchestral accompaniment. More aristocratic than the German Volkslied, more selective than the Kunstlied, the mélodie constitutes a world apart that is taken up by composers in the 20th century. It is well worth making the case for it on recordings... hence, this selection.

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