- The skipping, prancing, merry introduction, and how just before the verse begins the surprise appoggiatura causes a sudden suggestive, eyebrow-raising hiatus
- That little 4 bar phrase with the low repeated notes in the voice – in the first verse it introduces the scary, magical element, in the 2nd verse it’s Berthe confidentially indicating her interest, and in the 3rd verse she’s even more keen but is still using her intimate, naughty voice
- How the second verse makes you wait an extra bar for the voice to come in – to me it seems to bring us back to the opening non-magical scene for just one bar – Berthe, for the moment oblivious, gathering her strawberries, little knowing what is about to happen
- How the third verse makes you wait again even longer for the voice to come in – and then it comes in off-beat and on an unexpected high pitch – showing Berthe’s joyful springiness, light as a goat
- the melodic showy extravagance of the elf’s first words La-bas, sous l’ombre verte; how irresistible!
Lied, by Emmanuel Chabrier, text by Catulle Mendès
This song features in one of our programmes: Far Reaches of the Mind – Fantastical Worlds .