Any of my friends will confirm that I'm 99.9 per cent useless at remembering birthdays. Yesterday, I forgot Chausson's. At least he's not around to ring up and say "well, where were you, then?" Bravissimos to Operachic in Italy, who not only remembered, but gave him a suitably celebratory hat.
Operachic, like me, adores the Poeme de l'amour et de la mer. What about Monsieur Ernest's opera, Le roi Arthus? A couple of years ago, I went to Walthamstow to listen to some of the BBC Symphony Orchestra recording sessions for their CD. Arrived at the last stop on the Victoria Line just as the performers, in the run-down recording venue somewhere in the town hall complex, were tackling the final pages of the opera. Heaven had come to north-east London. Any Chausson fan who hasn't heard the opera yet should do so a.s.a.p... Bonne anniversaire hier, maestro.
By the way, a note to Ionarts, who, bless him, has got quite the wrong end of the stick: Tom would have a thing or two to say about this...
UPDATE, 8.40pm: Good old Opera Chic is ahead once again, celebrating that other underrated French genius Henri Duparc, whose birthday is not yesterday but today! And yes, guess who didn't remember... What is it about composers and the Capricorn-Pisces cusp?? We haven't even got to Mozart on 27th yet.