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Mélodies (French) - Released May 24, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
Sandrine Piau invites us for a stroll through the heart of romantic French melody with the musicians of the Concert de la Loge playing on period instruments. Known at the beginning of her career as a prominent performer of Baroque song, Sandrine Piau admits that she was nourished by 19th and 20th-century French music from an early age, at a time when she dreamed of becoming a harpist. Palazzetto Bru Zane are therefore going back to their roots, co-producing this album with the Alpha Classics label. Most of the tracks on this album are real discoveries, like these exquisite mini-works by Massenet, Pierné, Dubois, Godard or Guilmant. And what a wonderful idea to have also slipped the real gem that is Aux étoiles between these melodies, the short night-time instrumental that Henri Duparc wrote in 1910. Almost blind, the composer had dictated the orchestration to the very young Ernest Ansermet, who created it shortly afterwards, conducting the Montreux Kursaal Orchestra. A departure from the usual piano accompaniment, these melodies take on an additional grace and elegance in their orchestral setting, under the subtle and diaphanous direction of Julien Chauvin. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Mélodies (French) - Released May 10, 2019 | Decca

Snow White sings Canteloube, accompanied by the composer : a rare and newly remastered album, transferred to CD on Decca, from the original master tapes, for the first timeAs R.J. Stove outlines in a new essay for this important Eloquence release, Lucie Daullène (b.1931) was nearer 19 than (as the legend has it) 15 years old in 1949-50 when she recorded an album of ‘Chants de France’ for L’Oiseau-Lyre. Her voice, all the same, is so light, fresh and uncoloured by finesse that one may readily hear why Canteloube thought she was ideal. ‘That’s how French folk songs should be sung,’ he once wrote. Though Daullène made only one more classical recording, she later achieved a measure of fame (now named Dolène) as the voice of Disney’s heroine. ‘Snow White’. in the dubbed French version of the movie. At the piano, the septuagenarian Canteloube tosses off scales, arpeggios and glissandi with a panache enviable by many players one-third of his age. He had gathered the songs themselves from Brittany to Corsica and many points in between and none of them reappear in the more familiar ‘Chants d’Auvergne’, even though Daullène herself was a native of the region, making this new release all the more appealing to anyone already captivated by Canteloube. The ‘bonus’ here is more familiar but still undervalued: the first complete recording of ‘Les Nuits d’été’, made in 1953, at a time when Berlioz was still known for little more than the ‘Symphonie fantastique’, even in France. It was sung by the Belgian soprano, Suzanne Danco with a natural linguistic ease and the technical qualities so prized the composer, Luigi Dallapiccola: ‘control, breathing, technique, and intonation … balanced so perfectly that one cannot even perceive them as separate’. Danco’s interpretation remains a landmark in the cycle’s discography. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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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 May 11, 2018 | Decca

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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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
The "secrets" denoted by the title of this release on the increasingly productive Erato/Warner Classics are not repertory items, but the inner thoughts inspired by the music for mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa; the pieces on the are mostly well-known French mélodies. The exception is the final piece, composed by accompanist Fazil Say (who elsewhere has a remarkable quiet edge) and depicting the suppression of protests in Istanbul's Gezi Park, which is a bit out of place; perhaps it was felt that the program would be too conventional otherwise. No matter. The star of the show here is Crebassa's voice: a classic French song instrument, rounded, with abundant, yet precisely deployed vibrato on the longer notes, with the uvular "r" that French singers grow up with, but others struggle to replicate. Then, something's added: a hint of smoke that brings the songs out of the salon and into the wider world. It's a quality that singers develop over time (sometimes, in France especially, with actual cigarette smoke), but to hear it birthed full-grown is a rare and delicious experience. This is not to say that Crebassa is a vocal machine insensitive to text. Sample Henri Duparc's Au pays ou se fait la guerre, with its war-is-hell-on-the-home-front text by Théophile Gautier, and you hear a sensitive reading that brings out the underlying seriousness Crebassa is going for. The venue is not French, but Austrian: the Großer Saal at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. But this too supports the expressive goals of a French song recording in which everything comes together. © TiVo
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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 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 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. © TiVo
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Mélodies (French) - Released October 1, 2015 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Mélodies (French) - Released May 18, 2015 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Mélodies (French) - Released April 22, 2014 | Groupe Analekta, Inc

Hi-Res Booklets Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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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
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Mélodies (French) - Released April 7, 2014 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Mélodies (French) - Released November 19, 2013 | Timpani

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Mélodies (French) - Released October 29, 2013 | Timpani

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