excerpt from 'Friends and Memories' pp. 291-2 (184 words)

excerpt from 'Friends and Memories' pp. 291-2 (184 words)

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Friends and Memories

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I also set a good many French poems. Perhaps the best known of these is Sully Prudhomme’s “Ici-bas.” Monsieur Jules Diaz de Soria, to whom it is dedicated, sang it most beautifully. I dare say there are many of us who remember his lovely baritone voice, and the absolutely perfect way he sang certain French songs- “Crépuscule,” and “Sérenade,” by Massenet, for instance. His singing was full of fascination and charm. The voice was not a very big one, but its quality was absolutely perfect. I remember thinking on one occasion, “If a palm tree could sing, it would sing like de Soria.”


There was something extraordinarily exotic in his voice which also suited his appearance admirably, for he looked exactly like an Oriental. When he sang a love song he held one spellbound. The beautiful voice, so warm, so soft, so languorous, but which at times could be fierce and passionate, exercised an almost hypnotic influence on many people. Involuntarily one dreamed of love, intense, voluptuous, in some far-away tropical island.

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excerpt from 'Friends and Memories' pp. 291-2 (184 words)


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