Op. 4 - Chansons d'Amour

(2007/2009/2011)

for Mezzo-Soprano and Piano

Text: Paul Armand Silvestre        
Translation: Peter Low & Thomas A. Gregg
Language: French or English

I. Aurora
II. Sur La Source
III. Sonnet Matinal
IV. Quand Ton Sourire me Suprit

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Program Notes: The Chansons d’Amour, Op. 4 song cycle for mezzo-soprano and piano is an early work and my first attempt at writing for the human voice. It underwent several revisions and edits before its complete premiere in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2011. Musically, the song cycle is connected through the use of repeated notes in triplets in each song. The cycle is based on four texts by 19th century French poet, critic and dramaturge Paul Armand Silvestre. The first song, Aurore [‘Dawn’], is about that magical moment as the stars disappear and the morning approaches and the day begins anew ‘stretching her clear canvas’ and ‘seeking uncharted roads to where you are.’ This very fragrant and lush language is followed by Sur La Source [‘Over The Pool’]; a quick blues number that flirts with the temptation of love and lust. The third song, Sonnet Matinal [‘Morning Sonnet’] is an opulent and romantic ode to a loved one, begging them to awake to restore the sky with the two stars that are their eyes. A nostalgic piano finale ushers in the final song, Quand Ton Sourire Me Suprit [‘When Your Smile Surprised Me’]; a hyper-emotional realization of what loves is and how one knows they feel it. The profound line “And I did not know I loved you, until I saw your first tear,’ makes way for a dramatic piano solo before the mezzo suddenly re-enters for a solo cadenza until both musicians rejoin together for a conclusive finale.

Performance History:

-June 26th, 2010; No. 3 & 4– Live @ The Lounge; Hermosa Beach, California – 8PM

-December 1st, 2011; French Music Festival - The Felicja Blumental Music Center; Tel Aviv, Israel

-January 17th, 2012; M3 Classical @ ATX Kitchen; Atwater Village, California – 8PM

-March 14th, 2012; Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-February 17th, 2013; No. 3 & 4 - Recital; Person Recital Hall – University of North Carolina; Chapel Hill, North Carolina – 3PM

-May 6th, 2017; Masters Recital; Schoenfield Hall; University of Southern California; Los Angeles, California

-October 18th, 2017; Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

George N. Gianopoulos

composer