Berlioz: Les Nuits d'été; Chausson: Poème de l'amour et de la mer

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
When musicologists talk about the pervasive and pernicious Wagnerian influence in late nineteenth century French music, they're talking about César Franck, they're talking about Vincent d'Indy, but most of all they are talking about Ernest Chausson. With his massive symphony, his lyric opera "Le Roi Arthus," and his song cycle "Poéme de l'Amou et de la Mer," Chausson showed he had the chromatic melodies, the evocative harmonies, and the unrelenting romantic passion of Wagner's gesamtkunstwerk down pat. In the later years of the twentieth century, Chausson had no more ardent an advocate than conductor Armin Jordan. He recorded the symphony and the opera once each and the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
When musicologists talk about the pervasive and pernicious Wagnerian influence in late nineteenth century French music, they're talking about César Franck, they're talking about Vincent d'Indy, but most of all they are talking about Ernest Chausson. With his massive symphony, his lyric opera "Le Roi Arthus," and his song cycle "Poéme de l'Amou et de la Mer," Chausson showed he had the chromatic melodies, the evocative harmonies, and the unrelenting romantic passion of Wagner's gesamtkunstwerk down pat. In the later years of the twentieth century, Chausson had no more ardent an advocate than conductor Armin Jordan. He recorded the symphony and the opera once each and the "Poéme" twice, first with Jessye Norman and then again with Françoise Pollet -- this recording. As always, Jordan coaxes extraordinarily sensual sounds out of the Orchestra Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, and as always, he is a congenial and convivial accompanist. Although Pollet doesn't have the tremendous sense of presence Norman has, she has a big, sweet, warm voice, and while some might prefer Norman's regal tone, Pollet is a much more engaging singer. In other words, either recording would serve well as an introduction to the Wagnerian art of Chausson. The remainder of the disc, a performance of Berlioz's "Les Nuits d'été," is much less successful. Both Jordan and Pollet seem convinced that Berlioz was a sort of French proto-Wagnerian, granting his evanescent and elusive song cycle the weight and heft of a Valkyrie. This isn't to say that Jordan and Pollet aren't on top of their game -- his conducting is as sculpted and her singing is as shapely as before -- but it is to say that they're playing a different game by different rules -- and nobody ever won a baseball game playing soccer. Virgin's early digital sound is nowhere near as full and as deep as one might hope.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/20/2007
  • Label: Virgin Classics
  • UPC: 094636546322
  • Catalog Number: 65463

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Poème de l'amour et de la mer, for voice & orchestra, Op. 19 - Maurice Boucher & Ernest Chausson (29:48)
    Composed byErnest Chausson
    Conducted byArmin Jordan
    Performed byArmin Jordan, Francoise Pollet, Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. 2 Les Nuits d'été, song cycle for voice & piano (or orchestra), H. 81 (Op. 7) - Hector Berlioz & Théophile Gautier (33:42)
    Composed byHector Berlioz
    Conducted byArmin Jordan
    Performed byArmin Jordan, Francoise Pollet, Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Francoise Pollet Primary Artist
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