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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released February 1, 2001 | Cypres

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Vocal Recitals - Released October 25, 2010 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released September 3, 2012 | naïve classique

Distinctions Stereophile: Record To Die For
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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released October 4, 2005 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released October 12, 2011 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released September 13, 2019 | Warner Classics

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It was mythological with Ravel’s Ondine for piano, transfigured in Debussy’s scores and mystical on the waterfront of the Villa d’Este in Liszt’s Jeux d'eau… Time and time again, the sea has left its mark on musicians, especially at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries with which we are concerned here. Its vastness, reflections, shifting colours and capacity to evoke both danger and adventure have motivated these varied works that the composers have in turn translated into irresistible sonic paintings, written for piano as well as for orchestra. Romanticism and symbolism are well suited to this theme, allowing for an abundance of embellishments. Like a mermaid singing on a rock, Marie-Nicole Lemieux has recorded this programme entitled MER(S), meaning “SEA(S)” in English. Her deep voice will not draw you down into the abyss; instead, her warmth keeps you afloat and her almost imperceptible diction adds to the dreamy atmosphere. First stop is Elgar with his Sea Pictures, a little-known but splendid score; then we head over to Chausson’s to taste the harmonic and orchestral sumptuousness of the Poem of Love and the Sea (Irma Kolassi, Jessye Norman, Dame Felicity Lott and Véronique Gens all give impeccable performances); finally, we end with La Mer of Victorin de Joncières, an impressive curiosity sung with a choir (that of the Opéra National de Bordeaux, who are clear, precise and radiant). And the counter-alto’s articulation is perfect. Wagner’s influence on the various musicians is perceptible throughout the programme. Paul Daniel and the Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine drive the generously dense and delightfully chromatic body of these scores where the harp plays a leading role (Berlioz’s lesson has been learned). An enthralling record that will accompany us for a long time. © Elsa Siffert/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 3, 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

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Marie-Nicole Lemieux triumphantly defies the frequent assertion that the contralto is a dying breed. Moreover, with this live recital of Rossini arias and duets, the Canadian singer proves that a deep, rich, voluminous female voice can move with the same dazzling agility as a light, bright soprano. Since she first came to the world’s attention in 2000, when she won the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition for Opera in Brussels, Lemieux, who has been praised by Gramophone for her “velvet-like voice and generosity in phrasing and thought”, has established herself in a wide variety of operatic roles. Among these are Rossini’s Tancredi and Isabella (L’italiana in Algeri), Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Polinesso (Ariodante), Gluck’s Orphée, Verdi’s Mistress Quickly (Falstaff) and Azucena (Il trovatore) and Saint-Saëns’ Dalila (Samson et Dalila). She is also renowned as a recitalist and concert singer. This Rossini album, recorded in December 2015 in the southern French city of Montpellier, is the first fruit of her exclusive recording agreement with Erato, announced in Spring 2016. She is joined by Italian soprano Patrizia Ciofi, the orchestra and chorus of the Opéra National Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon and conductor Enrique Mazzola in a fascinating programme comprising excerpts from Tancredi (which Lemieux, Ciofi and Mazzola performed at the Opéra Berlioz - Le Corum in Paris in Montpellier in 2015), L’italiana in Algeri, Semiramide, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Matilda di Shabran, La gazza ladra and La pietra del paragone. In addition, Lemieux and Ciofi sharpen their claws in the famous Duetto dei gatti, which is attributed to Rossini (probably spuriously) because it draws on his opera Otello. “Rossini has been a revelation for me,” says Lemieux. “It was such a joy when I first sang L’italiana in Algeri, [at the Opéra National de Lorraine in 2012]. As in Baroque music, you have to display virtuosity, but Rossini allows you to breathe … Strangely, with Rossini, you sing twice as much, but you’re half as tired at the end of the performance! Rossini is organic and well crafted, and he understood the voice perfectly.” (It is worth remembering that Rossini had a long-term relationship with the celebrated Spanish singer Isabella Colbran, for whom he wrote a number of operas.) When Lemieux’s Erato contract was announced, she asked: “Who better than Rossini to celebrate with in all his musical splendour and generosity?” Rossini is clearly very much the right choice. When the contralto sang Tancredi in Paris, La Croix praised “a generous artist with a voice that is both ample and easily produced across its entire tessitura … from the depths to top notes that flash like a cavalier’s sabre,” while Les Echos described her vocal line as “noble, fluid and displaying myriad colours” and Le Monde, citing her “rich, substantial timbre”, lauded a performance that ended in “a death scene of great beauty.” As for her collaboration with Patrizia Ciofi, La Croix spoke of “two magnificent singers who, as a team, raise their art to the peak of opera’s Olympus.” Marie-Nicole Lemieux’s performance in Montpellier was greeted enthusiastically by Opéra Online, which cited “incredible breath control, vertiginous leaps between registers and above all a voice equipped with a sonorous lower register that can caress a line or blaze virtuosically,” before observing that “her generosity … her exuberant, communicative vitality and the relationship that she builds with the listeners, the conductor and the instrumentalists – all this completely won over the audience in Montpellier.”
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Classical - Released October 7, 2013 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released November 24, 2014 | naïve classique

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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released March 9, 2009 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released January 26, 2011 | Cypres

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Classical - Released November 18, 2004 | Analekta

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Classical - Released March 3, 2017 | Erato - Warner Classics

Booklet
Marie-Nicole Lemieux triumphantly defies the frequent assertion that the contralto is a dying breed. Moreover, with this live recital of Rossini arias and duets, the Canadian singer proves that a deep, rich, voluminous female voice can move with the same dazzling agility as a light, bright soprano. Since she first came to the world’s attention in 2000, when she won the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition for Opera in Brussels, Lemieux, who has been praised by Gramophone for her “velvet-like voice and generosity in phrasing and thought”, has established herself in a wide variety of operatic roles. Among these are Rossini’s Tancredi and Isabella (L’italiana in Algeri), Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Polinesso (Ariodante), Gluck’s Orphée, Verdi’s Mistress Quickly (Falstaff) and Azucena (Il trovatore) and Saint-Saëns’ Dalila (Samson et Dalila). She is also renowned as a recitalist and concert singer. This Rossini album, recorded in December 2015 in the southern French city of Montpellier, is the first fruit of her exclusive recording agreement with Erato, announced in Spring 2016. She is joined by Italian soprano Patrizia Ciofi, the orchestra and chorus of the Opéra National Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon and conductor Enrique Mazzola in a fascinating programme comprising excerpts from Tancredi (which Lemieux, Ciofi and Mazzola performed at the Opéra Berlioz - Le Corum in Paris in Montpellier in 2015), L’italiana in Algeri, Semiramide, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Matilda di Shabran, La gazza ladra and La pietra del paragone. In addition, Lemieux and Ciofi sharpen their claws in the famous Duetto dei gatti, which is attributed to Rossini (probably spuriously) because it draws on his opera Otello. “Rossini has been a revelation for me,” says Lemieux. “It was such a joy when I first sang L’italiana in Algeri, [at the Opéra National de Lorraine in 2012]. As in Baroque music, you have to display virtuosity, but Rossini allows you to breathe … Strangely, with Rossini, you sing twice as much, but you’re half as tired at the end of the performance! Rossini is organic and well crafted, and he understood the voice perfectly.” (It is worth remembering that Rossini had a long-term relationship with the celebrated Spanish singer Isabella Colbran, for whom he wrote a number of operas.) When Lemieux’s Erato contract was announced, she asked: “Who better than Rossini to celebrate with in all his musical splendour and generosity?” Rossini is clearly very much the right choice. When the contralto sang Tancredi in Paris, La Croix praised “a generous artist with a voice that is both ample and easily produced across its entire tessitura … from the depths to top notes that flash like a cavalier’s sabre,” while Les Echos described her vocal line as “noble, fluid and displaying myriad colours” and Le Monde, citing her “rich, substantial timbre”, lauded a performance that ended in “a death scene of great beauty.” As for her collaboration with Patrizia Ciofi, La Croix spoke of “two magnificent singers who, as a team, raise their art to the peak of opera’s Olympus.” Marie-Nicole Lemieux’s performance in Montpellier was greeted enthusiastically by Opéra Online, which cited “incredible breath control, vertiginous leaps between registers and above all a voice equipped with a sonorous lower register that can caress a line or blaze virtuosically,” before observing that “her generosity … her exuberant, communicative vitality and the relationship that she builds with the listeners, the conductor and the instrumentalists – all this completely won over the audience in Montpellier.”
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Classical - Released November 18, 2004 | Analekta

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 10, 2013 | Audiogram