June Emerson Wind Music
Got a Question? Call +44 (0)1439 788324


Composer:Brown, James Francis
Instrumentation:sop. fl. vc. pft.
Publisher Ref:M900224651
These beautiful settings of poetry by Saint-Saëns are a twenty-first century reflection on the French mélodie of the late nineteenth century.

Price: £12.95
Skill Level:E
Publisher:Music Haven
ISBN:none specified
These beautiful settings of poetry by Saint-Saëns are a twenty-first century reflection on the French mélodie of the late nineteenth century. While retaining the memorable freshness and distinct character of James Francis Brown’s recent music, they also throw a fascinating light on the literary preoccupations of a French master who continues to intrigue and surprise by his wide range of interests and abilities. The Songs of Nature and Farwell make an ideal programme companion to Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses which share the same forces of soprano, flute, cello and piano.

Composer’s Programme Note:
Le Chêne (The Oak Tree) is an airy and good-natured 'letter' to an old friend, Edmond Cottinet, with whom the composer had collaborated on various stage works. The oak tree is, perhaps, a symbol of growth and the perils that beset the path of all creative endeavours. In homage to Saint-Saëns’ own predilection for pastiche this song fuses the forms of minuet and bourée in a carefree, neo-classical manner.
La Libellule (The Dragonfly) is rather darker in tone. The insect in flight, whilst beguiling and superficially charming, is presented as a predator with a more sinister purpose. This is a classic symbol of the femme fatale and casts an interesting light on the speculations surrounding Saint-Saëns' own relationships with women.
The sentiments of the final poem 'Adieu' (Farewell) are also very much in keeping with the preoccupations of French poetry at that time - the desire to escape from worldly concerns and enter a paradise of contemplation and calm. The song opens with a cello solo in a somewhat despondent mood which is dispelled by the prospect of a steam-ship, slumbering in a bay, ready to carry the composer away.
The central section is a dream-like evocation of an island paradise. Here the imagery called to mind Gauguin's Tahiti paintings with those voluptuous forms and an almost ominous sense of the power of nature. Towards the end of this section, Saint-Saëns addresses another old friend and collaborator, Louis Gallet (the poem’s dedicatee) and appears to renounce his entire career, handing over the trials and tribulations, somewhat archly, for Gallet to 'enjoy at leisure'.
Finally, with a sense of joyful release the ship sets sail and Saint-Saëns finds a charming metaphor for the impossible dream - flying fish! Here, the flute, released from its lower octave, relishes the sea-spray and fresh air of freedom before the ship meets the horizon in a quiet reminiscence of the central, island music.
These songs are dedicated to the memory of Pauline Mara-Isserlis. A flautist herself, I could not help but identify the flute in these songs with my affectionate memory of her.

Delivery Details

We endeavour to dispatch all orders which are in stock on the day the order has been placed. If you need delivery by a certain time please state this clearly on your order and we will do our best to oblige.

For Royal Mail Special Delivery, Parcelforce and other courier shipments, a signature may be required upon delivery to your address. You are responsible for your order once the package arrives at the supplied delivery address. We cannot be held responsible if the package(s) goes missing once delivered. If any goods are received faulty or damaged on receipt, you must notify us within 7 days of receiving them (via email or telephone) quoting your order reference. We cannot be held responsible for goods that do not arrive with the customer due to errors made by the customer when entering their address details. Please ensure that you check all your details before confirming your order. For more information on deliveries, please click here.

Unrivalled Selection of Music

We offer a truly comprehensive selection of wind music online, with well over 65,000 titles listed, most of which are in stock and ready for immediate despatch.

We also stock a large range of theory and aural resources and specialist books.

First Class Service

We are absolutely committed to providing a first class service to musicians worldwide.

If you’re looking for a piece of music that isn’t listed on our website, we will do whatever we can to find it for you, no matter how long it takes.

Knowledgeable, Friendly, Helpful

We are a friendly, helpful team of people with lots of specialist knowledge.

For advice and information, contact us on +44(0)1439 788324 Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays) between 9am and 5pm (GMT).