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L’ Invitation au Voyage (1971)
For SATB chorus; text by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Richard Wilbur

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First performed January 20, 1973 by the San Antonio Mastersingers, Roger Melone, conductor; San Antonio, TX

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Listen to a sound clip

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Duration  8 minutes

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Recordings
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Oregon Repertory Singers, Gilbert Seeley, conductor Koch 3-7253-2 H1 (1998)
William Ferris Chorale, William Ferris, conductor CRI CD659 (1998)
Kansas City Chorale, Charles Bruffy, conductor Nimbus 5449 (1995)

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Program note

This a capella choral work, composed in 1971, is a setting of Richard Wilbur’s translation of Baudelaire’s L’Invitation au Voyage. Wilbur’s poignant setting pictures a world of obsessive imagination — a drugged vision of heaven full of sensual imagery. The music echoes the quality of the repeated refrain found in this lush translation: “There, there is nothing else but grace and measure, richness, quietness and pleasure.”

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                     — John Corigliano

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