Albums

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Mélodies (French) - Released January 11, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
As the first of a series of publications that aim to celebrate forty years of the "Arts Flo" founded by William Christie in 1979, this new album, recorded at the Philharmonie de Paris in 2016, is made up of "serious songs and “drinking songs" from France in the 17th century. Following the filming of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, performed at the Salzburg Festival 2018, and the ambitious complete recording of Carlo Gesualdo’s Madrigaux conducted by Paul Agnew, who is little by little taking over as the ensemble’s conductor, new editions are returning towards harmonia mundi, the "historic" publisher of the Arts Florissants and their founder. This recording is a perfect “Map of Tendre” of the loved-up 17th century, with its lovelorn shepherds, pretty shepherdesses (jolies bergères, in fact!) who aren't always too chaste, and helpful birds. Having only just moved on from Renaissance polyphony, French composers, very much influenced by their Italian colleagues, produced airs de cour (courtly airs) which would become the first constitutive elements of French opera. This album brings together the composers who best represent this musical trend. It gives us Marc-Antoine Charpentier as well as Michel Lambert, who wrote serious melodies, and Sébastien Le Camus, who would quickly become one of the musical favourites of the Parisian salon scene. These men dominated the musical productions which then circulated in either printed or manuscript form, or in periodicals such as Le Mercure galant. What a happy time it was for France, when love, sincere love, always won out over adversity and jealousy. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Mélodies (French) - Released September 28, 2018 | HORTUS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 étoiles de Classica
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Mélodies (French) - Released June 22, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 5 étoiles de Classica
Remembering Gounod as just a masterful composer of great French operas, it’s easy to forget that he also wrote, among many various pieces of work, close to one hundred and fifty melodies throughout is long and rich career. Surprisingly, almost one third of these pages were written in English (during his years in London, between 1870 and 1874), about fifteen of them are in Italian, as well as a few in Spanish and German. Most of them of course are in French, among which Tassis Christoyannis and Jeff Cohen selected twenty-four gems, a comprehensive array ranging from his very first published melody – his Où voulez-vous aller from 1839, the year of his Prix de Rome! – to his À une jeune Grecque of the utmost maturity, in 1884. The composer explored all of the styles he held dear, with all the eclecticism he’s famous for: French romanticism, German Lied, orientalism, old-fashioned archaic writing… Gounod was particularly sensitive to the words’ meaning as much as their sound, the back and forth of verses and the variety of periods, and excelled in finding a melodic movement to perfectly fit the inflexions of pronunciation, the expressive flow of speech and setting the perfect phrasing for an eloquent result. With him, unlike his illustrious elder Berlioz, music served the words, carried them and elevated them if possible. Let’s discover this beautiful pearl rosary, made of works we would love to hear in recital more often. © SM/Qobuz
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Mélodies (French) - Released October 20, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Award - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
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Mélodies (French) - Released February 24, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Mélodies (French) - Released October 7, 2016 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Mélodies (French) - Released September 30, 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Mélodies (French) - Released March 18, 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Mélodies (French) - Released January 1, 2016 | Timpani

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Mélodies (French) - Released October 20, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
The soprano Véronique Gens might be thought a natural for the French art song repertoire. But Néère, taking its title from the opening song by Reynaldo Hahn (the reference is to the Greek nymph known in English as Neaera, "white as a fine marble statue, with her rosy cheeks"), is one of just a few albums in the genre she has released. Get hold of it without delay: it's gorgeous. The French mélodie is not a high-register genre, and for a singer like Gens these songs reside in the lower part of her range, where she now brings just a bit of sultriness and smoke with devastating effect. The program includes three composers of the late 19th century who are closely related but contrasting in their individual styles: in the words of annotator Nicolas Southon "the melancholic Henri Duparc, the elegiac Ernest Chausson, the charmer Reynaldo Hahn." You could really dip in anywhere, but sample track 15, Hahn's A Chloris, for a taste of what Gens can do. The playing of accompanist Susan Manoff seems welded to Gens' vocal line, which even with all the voluptuous, erotic beauty has a kind of steely concentration that grows stronger and more impressive as the album proceeds. An absolute gem.
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Mélodies (French) - Released October 1, 2015 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica

Mélodies (French) - Released June 15, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive

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Mélodies (French) - Released June 15, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive

Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Recommandé par Classica
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Mélodies (French) - Released June 10, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive

Distinctions 10 de Répertoire
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Mélodies (French) - Released June 10, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama
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Mélodies (French) - Released May 18, 2015 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica

Mélodies (French) - Released March 1, 2015 | Solstice

Booklets Distinctions Orphée d'Or de l'Académie du Disque Lyrique
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Mélodies (French) - Released June 22, 2011 | Solstice

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Mélodies (French) - Released February 15, 2015 | Solstice

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Mélodies (French) - Released April 21, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Le Choix de France Musique - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio