Chanson Triste : Work information

(Marie Eugène) Henri Duparc ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Graham Johnson (Piano), Felicity Lott (Soprano)

This work

Work name
Chanson Triste
Work number
E flat major
1869-00-00 02:00:00

This recording

Forlane CI
Marc Brown
Anthony Howell
Recording date
1996-01-01 00:00:00

Track listing

  • 3:49 min

The Composers

(Marie Eugène) Henri Duparc

A highly self critical composer, Duparc destroyed almost half of the music that he wrote, in some cases after the work had been published.

It was while Duparc studied piano under César Franck  at the Jesuit College of Vaugirard, Paris, that he received his first lessons in composition. Although he was actually studying law, Duparc found time to write and publish a number of works for piano and voice.

The five melodies, Soupir, Chanson triste, Serenade, Romance de Mignon and le Galop were published in 1868. Duparc, dissatisfied, tried to destroy the last three songs in this set but copies have survived to the present day. These songs display the early influence of Gounod, Liszt and Wagner .

La fuite, a duet, was published (with Duparc’s consent), and he completed a symphonic poem Lenore in 1875. He wrote five pieces for the piano, and the 16 songs make up the rest of his total compositional output.

Duparc abandoned composition in 1885 because he was suffering from a nervous condition causing him extreme fatigue. A devoted family man, he continued to take an interest in music and painted watercolours untill he was prevented by blindness. He also became paralysed before his death.

Duparc was an imaginative and intelligent man, with interests in cultural activities as diverse as Japanese theatre and Cambodian dance. His music reflects the very beginning of the French impressionist movement, and his few songs are comparable to the best of Fauré.