Henri Duparc is perhaps one of the most efficient composers of music history: with just a handful of works he made himself famous. After all, Duparc was an extraordinary perfectionist; he could work on a single song for years. That was his specialty too: songs, for solo voice and piano accompaniment. In 16 years, Duparc composed 13 songs to his satisfaction, after which he quit composing in 1885, at the age of 37. He settled down in a calm family life and spent his time reading and painting watercolours. This step was partly due to a growing hypersensitivity. The extreme sensitiveness, the perfectionism and the refined artistic taste can all be heard in his songs: these are unique for their balance, subtleness and concentration. He also picked his libretti carefully, with prominent poets such as Baudelaire, Gautier and Armand Silvestre.