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Ensemble Contraste - Fauré: La Bonne Chanson, Op. 61 & Quatuor avec piano, Op. 15

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Fauré: La Bonne Chanson, Op. 61 & Quatuor avec piano, Op. 15

Karine Deshayes - Ensemble Contraste

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Gabriel Fauré originally wrote his song cycle, La Bonne chanson, for voice and piano, but a few years after its 1894 premiere he created a version with string quintet and piano. He later questioned the wisdom of having made the arrangement, thinking perhaps he was gilding the lily by adding even more sumptuous timbral richness to a work that was already so melodically and harmonically sensuous. Few listeners are likely to complain about his arrangement, though, particularly when it is performed as well as it is here, with mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes and members of Ensemble Contraste. Deshayes has a relatively light lyric voice that still has enough fullness to put across the romantic ardor of the music and the poetry. Temperamentally, too, she sounds well suited for the songs; she conveys the delicacy and vulnerability of the protagonist as well as bold passion and energy. Deshayes is especially masterful in her nuanced shaping and coloring of Fauré's elegant phrases, which blossom with spontaneity and unforced naturalness. Ensemble Contraste plays with supple flexibility, and while their idiomatic accompaniment is beautifully expressive it avoids the kind of excessive effusion the possibility of which must have given the composer second thoughts about this version. The players step into the spotlight for the First Quartet for piano and strings, written about 15 years earlier. It was Fauré's first large-scale work, but there is nothing tentative about it; it's clearly the work of a fully assured composer with plenty to say. It has the melodic grace and harmonic sweetness, along with a subtle push at the boundaries of convention, that characterize Fauré's music and it has an irrepressible youthful energy. The players give themselves fully to its full-throated Romantic passions and its moods of bittersweet yearning. The pairing of these lovely works in these exemplary performances makes this an album that should have strong appeal for fans of late Romantic chamber and vocal music. The sound of Zig-Zag Territoires' CD is clean and nicely present, but a little on the cool side; a warmer ambience would have better shown off Deshayes' performance in particular.
© TiVo

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Fauré: La Bonne Chanson, Op. 61 & Quatuor avec piano, Op. 15

Ensemble Contraste

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Quatuor No. 1 pour piano, violon, alto et violoncelle en Ut Mineur, Op. 15 (Gabriel Fauré)

1
I. Allegro molto moderato
Arnaud Thorette
00:09:03

Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

2
II. Scherzo
Arnaud Thorette
00:05:36

Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

3
III. Adagio
Arnaud Thorette
00:07:20

Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

4
IV. Allegro molto
Arnaud Thorette
00:08:13

Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

La Bonne Chanson, op. 61 (Gabriel Fauré)

5
I. Une Sainte en son auréole
Antoine Pierlot
00:02:28

Karine Deshayes, Performer - Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

6
II. Puisque l'Aube grandit
Antoine Pierlot
00:02:08

Karine Deshayes, Performer - Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

7
III. La lune blanche luit dans les bois
Antoine Pierlot
00:02:32

Karine Deshayes, Performer - Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

8
IV. J'allais par des chemins perfides
Antoine Pierlot
00:02:03

Karine Deshayes, Performer - Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

9
V. J'ai presque peur, en vérité
Antoine Pierlot
00:02:24

Karine Deshayes, Performer - Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

10
VI. Avant que tu ne t'en ailles
Antoine Pierlot
00:02:46

Karine Deshayes, Performer - Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

11
VII. Donc, ce sera par un clair jour d'été
Antoine Pierlot
00:02:40

Karine Deshayes, Performer - Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

12
VIII. N'est ce pas?
Antoine Pierlot
00:02:39

Karine Deshayes, Performer - Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

13
IX. L'hiver a cessé
Antoine Pierlot
00:03:29

Karine Deshayes, Performer - Ensemble Contraste, Performer - Geneviève Laurenceau, Performer - Maud Lovett, Performer - Arnaud Thorette, Performer - Antoine Pierlot, Performer - Johan Farjot, Performer - Yann Dubost, Performer - Gabriel Fauré, Composer

Zig-Zag Territoires Zig-Zag Territoires

Album Description

Gabriel Fauré originally wrote his song cycle, La Bonne chanson, for voice and piano, but a few years after its 1894 premiere he created a version with string quintet and piano. He later questioned the wisdom of having made the arrangement, thinking perhaps he was gilding the lily by adding even more sumptuous timbral richness to a work that was already so melodically and harmonically sensuous. Few listeners are likely to complain about his arrangement, though, particularly when it is performed as well as it is here, with mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes and members of Ensemble Contraste. Deshayes has a relatively light lyric voice that still has enough fullness to put across the romantic ardor of the music and the poetry. Temperamentally, too, she sounds well suited for the songs; she conveys the delicacy and vulnerability of the protagonist as well as bold passion and energy. Deshayes is especially masterful in her nuanced shaping and coloring of Fauré's elegant phrases, which blossom with spontaneity and unforced naturalness. Ensemble Contraste plays with supple flexibility, and while their idiomatic accompaniment is beautifully expressive it avoids the kind of excessive effusion the possibility of which must have given the composer second thoughts about this version. The players step into the spotlight for the First Quartet for piano and strings, written about 15 years earlier. It was Fauré's first large-scale work, but there is nothing tentative about it; it's clearly the work of a fully assured composer with plenty to say. It has the melodic grace and harmonic sweetness, along with a subtle push at the boundaries of convention, that characterize Fauré's music and it has an irrepressible youthful energy. The players give themselves fully to its full-throated Romantic passions and its moods of bittersweet yearning. The pairing of these lovely works in these exemplary performances makes this an album that should have strong appeal for fans of late Romantic chamber and vocal music. The sound of Zig-Zag Territoires' CD is clean and nicely present, but a little on the cool side; a warmer ambience would have better shown off Deshayes' performance in particular.
© TiVo

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