The development of the art song in France was slower to present itself until the middle of the nineteenth century. But it was worth the wait. Bizet, Delibes, Viardot, Berlioz and Ravel reigned supreme. Bizet is best known for the opera Carmen, Delibes for his ballet music, Berlioz for his Symphonie Fantatique, and Ravel for his Bolero and other symphonic works. Only Debussy is missing from this recording. The themes are the same as songs of the Romantic Era, love and nature. The insert with the CD gives background information on the extraordinary mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli. Since this recording was made, she has developed into one of the great mezzo-sopranos. In addition, the insert contains the French lyrics with English translations.