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Natalie Dessay - Pictures of America

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Pictures of America

Natalie Dessay - Claire Gibault - Paris Mozart Orchestra

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The list of really successful albums of Broadway song by operatic singers is a short one, and there are still fewer by those whose native language is not English. Credit French soprano Natalie Dessay, now retired from opera performances, for appreciating the challenges involved. She neither applies an operatic voice to these songs nor tries to compete with popular singers on their own terms. Instead, like Renée Fleming, she creates a new voice, lower in register, rather quiet, and reflective of the dramatic approach of opera. Dessay takes an additional step: she commissions distinctive orchestral arrangements and works them out in detail with the Paris Mozart Orchestra under Claire Gibault. The results are indubitably a mixed bag, but the whole thing comes off quite a bit better than you might think, and it will stick in your head rather than evaporating like so many similar products. I Feel Pretty is a breathy mess, but Dessay in general does well to choose songs that although not terribly famous fit her ideas here. Autour de minuit is the only French-language track; it's a French setting of Thelonious Monk's Round Midnight. You might sample the opening On a Clear Day (from On a Clear Day You Can See Forever), which sets out with clarity and verve what Dessay is trying to accomplish. Dessay apparently conceived this project herself after viewing paintings by Edward Hopper, and it does not have the feel of one of Sony's profit-inspired crossover outings. Quirky indeed but recommended. ~ James Manheim

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Pictures of America

Natalie Dessay

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1
On a Clear Day (From "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever") 00:05:13

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Burton Lane, Composer - Alan Jay Lerner, Lyricist - Baptiste Trotignon, Arranger - Pierre Boussaguet - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

2
I Feel Pretty (From "West Side Story") 00:03:29

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Leonard Bernstein, Composer - Baptiste Trotignon, Arranger - Stephen Sondheim, Lyricist - Pierre Boussaguet - François Laizeau, Drums - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

3
I'm a Fool to Want You 00:04:46

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Frank Sinatra, Composer, Lyricist - Jack Wolf, Composer, Lyricist - Joel Herron, Composer, Lyricist - Cyrille Lehn, Arranger - Pierre Boussaguet - François Laizeau, Drums - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

4
Send in the Clowns (From "A Little Night Music") 00:04:32

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Leonard Bernstein, Composer - Stephen Sondheim, Lyricist - Cyrille Lehn, Arranger - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

5
Detour Ahead 00:05:42

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Herb Ellis, Composer, Lyricist - John Frigo, Composer, Lyricist - Lou Carter, Composer, Lyricist - Pierre Boussaguet, Arranger - François Laizeau, Drums - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

6
Something's Coming (From "West Side Story") 00:02:44

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Leonard Bernstein, Composer - Pierre Boussaguet - François Laizeau, Drums - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Patrice Caratini, Arranger - Stephen Sondheim, Lyricist - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

7
Autour de minuit 00:05:55

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Thelonious Monk, Composer - Bernard Hanighen, Composer - Charles Cootie Williams, Composer - Pierre Boussaguet, Arranger - Claude Nougaro, Lyricist - François Laizeau, Drums - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

8
I Keep Going Back to Joe's & My Solitude 00:04:58

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Marvin Fisher, Composer, Lyricist - Jack Segal, Composer, Lyricist - Duke Ellington, Composer - Cyrille Lehn, Arranger - Pierre Boussaguet - François Laizeau, Drums - Irving Mills, Lyricist - Edgar De Lange, Lyricist - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

9
A Place That You Want to Call Home 00:05:06

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Roger Kellaway, Composer - Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Lyricist - Julie Bernstein, Arranger - Pierre Boussaguet - François Laizeau, Drums - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

10
Two Lonely People 00:03:38

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Bill Evans, Composer - Patrice Caratini, Arranger - Carol Hall, Lyricist - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

11
There's No Business Like Show Business (From "Annie Get Your Gun") 00:03:47

Natalie Dessay, Main Artist - The Paris Mozart Orchestra, Associated Performer, Main Artist - Claire Gibault, Conductor, Main Artist - Irving Berlin, Composer, Lyricist - Patrice Caratini, Arranger - Herbert Fields, Lyricist - Dorothy Fields, Lyricist - Pierre Boussaguet - François Laizeau, Drums - Matthieu Lefèvre, Engineer - Thibaut Maillard

(P) 2016 SME France

Descripción del álbum

The list of really successful albums of Broadway song by operatic singers is a short one, and there are still fewer by those whose native language is not English. Credit French soprano Natalie Dessay, now retired from opera performances, for appreciating the challenges involved. She neither applies an operatic voice to these songs nor tries to compete with popular singers on their own terms. Instead, like Renée Fleming, she creates a new voice, lower in register, rather quiet, and reflective of the dramatic approach of opera. Dessay takes an additional step: she commissions distinctive orchestral arrangements and works them out in detail with the Paris Mozart Orchestra under Claire Gibault. The results are indubitably a mixed bag, but the whole thing comes off quite a bit better than you might think, and it will stick in your head rather than evaporating like so many similar products. I Feel Pretty is a breathy mess, but Dessay in general does well to choose songs that although not terribly famous fit her ideas here. Autour de minuit is the only French-language track; it's a French setting of Thelonious Monk's Round Midnight. You might sample the opening On a Clear Day (from On a Clear Day You Can See Forever), which sets out with clarity and verve what Dessay is trying to accomplish. Dessay apparently conceived this project herself after viewing paintings by Edward Hopper, and it does not have the feel of one of Sony's profit-inspired crossover outings. Quirky indeed but recommended. ~ James Manheim

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