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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released May 31, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After an album of French songs (Néère) that earned her a "Gramophone Award" in 2016, Véronique Gens presents her new recital, this time with orchestra, which gives her an opportunity to display the maturity of her ‘Falcon’ soprano, the central tessitura typical of French Romantic opera, which takes its name from Cornélie Falcon, who created the works of Meyerbeer and Halévy staged in the 1830s. She pays tribute here to a number of composers whose unknown operas she was the first to reveal in projects mounted by the Palazzetto Bru Zane, including David, Godard, Saint-Saëns and Halévy. The programme selects arias from all the genres in vogue in the Romantic era: opera (Saint-Saëns, Halévy, Godard, Février), opéra-comique (David), oratorio (Franck, Massenet) and the cantata for the Prix de Rome (Bizet, Bruneau). A nod to Wagner and his Tannhäuser – in its French translation of the 1860s – completes this programme conducted by a longstanding colleague of the soprano, one of the leading specialists in French music, Hervé Niquet. © Alpha Classics
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released June 5, 2012 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio - La Clef du mois RESMUSICA
The vocal works of Hector Berlioz are less familiar than his gigantic orchestral pieces, but in the right hands they're delightful. This release by French soprano Véronique Gens, who is at the absolute peak of her powers, has all you could ask. It has the sheer creamy goodness of Gens' voice, made still tastier by her obvious enthusiasm for the likes of Ravel's Asie (Asia) from the Shéhérazade set. It offers a distinction from earlier traversals of the same material: the song cycle Les Nuits d'été (Summer Nights), especially, has been the province of big dramatic sopranos, but Gens' reading is more chamber-sized, and indeed more in line with the medium-sized halls Berlioz would have known in material of this kind. The album has a novel item: the early Berlioz cantata Herminie, written in 1828 as one of his unsuccessful attempts to capture the Prix de Rome. (He finally succeeded with Sardanapale in 1830.) The music of this piece has links to the Symphonie fantastique, and in general it has the fearlessly showy lyricism that makes the music of the young Berlioz so attractive. The album boasts excellent orchestral support from the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire under conductor John Axelrod, who fully merits his full-page picture in the CD version's booklet. Sound ideally suited to the dimensions of Gens' voice is just a bonus by this time. This is state-of-the-art Berlioz (and Ravel). © TiVo
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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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Classical - Released March 1, 2019 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Ernest Chausson is a most unusual figure in French music, positioned at the crossroads where the romanticism of Berlioz and Franck meet the language of Wagner and the symbolism of the young Debussy. His Poème de l’amour et de la mer is a unique score for the period and certainly his greatest work; simultaneously a profane, naturistic cantata, a monologue, and a song cycle, it was composed between 1882 and 1892. Véronique Gens is recording this cycle for the first time, although she has already issued Le temps des lilas with Susan Manoff at the piano ("Néère"), about which Ernst Van Bek wrote in Classiquenews: « it mesmerises with the nuancing of its colours, the allusive precision of every sung word ». Véronique Gens’ talent is equally on display in this recording too, with the Orchestre National de Lille – an orchestra she already knows well – under Alexandre Bloch, its new chief conductor, whose appointment and first concerts and recordings have already caused a sensation… The Symphony in B-flat major completes this programme: a summit of French symphonic writing, for some a milestone as important as the Symphony in D of Chausson’s teacher César Franck! © Outhere Music
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Classical - Released October 30, 2007 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
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Classical - Released April 3, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
As the symbiosis between the art of the poet and that of the composer, the French mélodie became the jewel of the salons of the ‘Belle Époque’. By placing a string quartet and a piano around the singer, Chausson’s Chanson perpétuelle, Lekeu’s Nocturne and Fauré’s La Bonne Chanson oscillate between chamber musical intimacy and orchestral ambition. Alongside these famous pioneering pieces, this programme devised by the Palazzetto Bru Zane champions a return to the art of transcription, so popular in the nineteenth century, with the aim of expanding the repertory for voice, strings and piano in order to unearth some forgotten treasures. Hence Hahn, Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Massenet, La Tombelle, Ropartz, Louiguy and Messager all appear in a programme whose guiding thread is the emotions of nocturnal abandonment: the charms of twilight, the trajectory of dreams, the terror of nightmare or the exhilaration of festive occasions. Alexandre Dratwicki has made these arrangements in the style of the nineteenth century. Appropriately enough, the programme ends with La Vie en rose, for this music offers a kaleidoscope of all the colours of human feeling. The texture of solo strings and piano sets Véronique Gens’s incomparable storytelling artistry in a new ligh. © Alpha Classics
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Classical - Released November 1, 2004 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Once you accept the fundamental premise -- Joseph Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne are gussied-up folk songs -- they become the cutest little things in the world. Of course, not everybody can accept the premise since it involves accepting, first, that the folk song is a legitimate vehicle for high culture, and second, that a little sentimentality never hurt anybody. For listeners for whom Schubert's lieder are the only possible songs, Canteloube's Chants will seem far too close to kitsch for aesthetic comfort. But listeners who can accept the artless beauty of the tunes and the warm orchestral syrup in which they are encased, Canteloube's Chants are just the thing when Puccini's Madame Butterfly becomes too much. There have been many terrific recordings of Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne over the years, but this recording by soprano Véronique Gens accompanied by Jean-Claude Casadesus leading the Orchestre National de Lille can takes its place among the best. With many impressive recordings of repertoire from Rameau through Mozart to her credit, Gens may at first seem an unlikely choice for performing gussied-up folk songs, but her darkly lustrous and deep-chested tone, along with her birth in the Auvergne region make, her a natural for the part. And indeed, while one can tell immediately that the singer is Gens, one never gets the sense that she's condescending to the repertoire, but rather doing exactly the repertoire she wants to do and enjoying herself completely while doing it. Casadesus is a faithful accompanist, but this is emphatically Gens' show and, for those who can accept the fundamental premise, pure pleasure. Naxos' sound is rich, deep, warm, and round. © TiVo
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Opera - Released August 21, 2020 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet
Armide, premiered in 1686, was the last joint work of Lully and the poet Philippe Quinault. It immediately became a pillar of the Opéra’s repertory, which it finally left only in 1766, when it was removed to make room for a new wave of composers, Philidor, Grétry, Gossec and soon Gluck. A few attempts to restore former tastes still allowed audiences to hear such works as Persée, revived in 1770 (and recorded in that version by Hervé Niquet). But these operas were profoundly modified in order to increase the role of the orchestra and tailor the vocal numbers to the singers of the day. This was the context for the fascinating and unpublished version of Armide that has lain dormant in the Bibliothèque Nationale for more than two centuries. The revisions to the original are by Louis-Joseph Francœur, nephew of the celebrated François Francœur, one of Louis XV’s court musicians. This recording of the 1778 version of Armide, made at the Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles in collaboration with the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, is not merely the first modern performance but the work’s world premiere, since none of its music was ever actually played at the time. It enables us to grasp the evolution of the ideas and practices of French music over a whole century. © Alpha Classics
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Classical - Released February 1, 2000 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 15, 2000 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 25, 2005 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released May 1, 2006 | Warner Classics

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Opera - Released January 1, 2004 | Dynamic

Recording Handel's operas can be tricky. Overly immaculate studio readings tend to rob the long chains of recitatives and arias of the immediacy they need to stay interesting; and live recordings tend to be messy, not to mention noisy. This Agrippina, by Jean-Claude Malgoire and La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy, and starring Veronique Gens as the titular anti-heroine, certainly suffers from some "live-itis:" the orchestra isn't always sharp, orchestra and singers are occasionally out of phase, and there is plenty of audience and stage noise. But the quality of the musical performance is very high, the music never loses its sonic focus or clarity, and the energy of the live performance brings the drama to the foreground. Veronique Gens is a vocally arresting Agrippina, and the strength of her performance is a big reason for the success of this recording. Most importantly, she is as interesting in her many recitatives as she is in her arias, all of which are sung with style and smart ornamentation. Philippe Jaroussky, Ingrid Perruche, and Nigel Smith are also excellent. Malgoire keeps things moving at a furious pace, never allowing the drama to sag, and for the most part he illicits clean and stylish playing from the ensemble; the unavoidable warts that result from live performance shouldn't bother most listeners too much. The continuo playing is especially good, adding rhythmic depth and interest to the recitatives and the orchestral texture in general. © TiVo
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Opera - Released January 3, 2012 | Dynamic

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Classical - Released December 19, 2001 | Warner Classics