Hector Berlioz: La Belle Voyageuse

Hector Berlioz: La Belle Voyageuse

by Jerome Correas
     
 
Hector Berlioz's songs are certainly the most overlooked area of his output, even though they demonstrate no less color, eccentricity, or Romantic boldness than his work in other genres. Alpha Productions' Hector Berlioz: La Belle Voyageuse collects 15 of Berlioz's songs and submits them to a period treatment, or at least to a period instrument, namely an

Overview

Hector Berlioz's songs are certainly the most overlooked area of his output, even though they demonstrate no less color, eccentricity, or Romantic boldness than his work in other genres. Alpha Productions' Hector Berlioz: La Belle Voyageuse collects 15 of Berlioz's songs and submits them to a period treatment, or at least to a period instrument, namely an original 1836 square piano manufactured by Ignace Pleyel. In some cases Berlioz provides for optional, extra voices to complement the lead, resulting in a pseudo-part song-like texture. In such cases, bass baritone Jerôme Correas is joined by three tenors and a second baritone to fill out the extra parts. He is also partnered by horn player Claude Maury and cellist Christophe Coin when additional parts for instruments are required. Correas is a good French baritone with a nice, pear-shaped approach to vowels and a sometimes warm personality, although in a fair amount of instances he seems a bit too preoccupied with the business of singing to really project it. His main partner in this project is pianist Arthur Schoonderwoerd, and it is his participation, rather than the music he is making, that we mostly hear. The whole recording has a weak low end, and the singer is mixed a bit too far forward, with the piano barely audible most of the time. When it can be heard, the Pleyel has a charming, tinkling sound very close to that of the pianos you hear accompanying European singers on very early phonograph recordings from around 1900. The weak bass robs the sonority of the piano in the most interesting part of its range, the lower registers. Despite the pedigree of the extra instrumentalists, the instrumental obbligati are cheesy -- it has probably been 80 years since musicians have really known how to present parlor music for voice, piano, and another instrument and not have it come off like showboating. The concluding "Chant Sacré," which calls for an added soprano and mezzo, really comes off beautifully, as the near choral texture makes it so one doesn't miss the sound of the piano. Hector Berlioz: La Belle Voyageuse, therefore, is a mixed bag with some very good things included. But it is better overall if you don't particularly like accompanists.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/20/2004
Label:
Alpha Productions
UPC:
3760014190247
catalogNumber:
24
Rank:
109909

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. La Belle voyageuse ("Elle s'en va"), song for voice & piano (Neuf Mélodies irlandaises), H. 42a, Op. 2/4  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  2. L' Origine de la harpe ("Cette harpe chérie") for soprano or tenor & piano (Neuf Mélodies irlandaises), H.45 (Op. 2/7)  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  3. Le Chasseur danois, for baritone & piano (or orchestra), H. 104  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  4. Chanson à boire ("Amis la coupe écume"), for voice, chorus & piano (Neuf Mélodies irlandaises), H. 43, Op. 2/5  - Jerome Correas  - Hector Berlioz  - Mary Pardoe  - Alain Gabriel  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  5. Adieu, Bessy, for tenor & piano ("Romance anglaise et française"), H. 46a (Op. 2/8)  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  6. Petit Oiseau, song for voice and piano (Fleurs des landes; "chanson de paysan"), H. 126 (Op. 13/2)  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  7. Le Jeune Pâtre breton, for voice & piano & horn ad lib (Fleurs des landes), H. 65 (Op. 13/4)  - Jerome Correas  - Hector Berlioz  - Mary Pardoe  - Claude Maury  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  8. Chant guerrier, for tenor, male chorus & piano (Neuf Mélodies irlandaises), H. 41 (Op. 2/3)  - Jerome Correas  - Hector Berlioz  - Mary Pardoe  - Alain Gabriel  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  9. Les Champs, for voice & piano (Fleurs des landes), H. 67 (Op. 19/2)  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  10. Le Chant des bretons, song for tenor (or male chorus) & piano (Fleurs des landes), H. 71 (Op. 13/5)  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  11. Le Matin, song for mezzo-soprano or tenor & piano (Fleurs des landes), H. 125 (Op. 13/1)  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  12. Le Coucher du soleil, for voice & piano, ("rêverie"; Neuf Mélodies irlandaises), H. 39 (Op. 2/1)  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  13. Roméo et Juliette, for alto, tenor, bass, chorus & orchestra ("symphonie dramatique"), H.79 (Op. 17): Premiers Transports  - Hector Berlioz  - Christophe Coin  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  14. Elégie en prose, song for tenor & piano, H. 47 (Op. 2/9)  - Hector Berlioz  - Jerome Correas  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur
  15. Chant sacré, for tenor, male chorus & piano or orchestra (Neuf Mélodies irlandaises), H. 44 (Op. 2/6)  - Jerome Correas  - Hector Berlioz  - Mary Pardoe  - Arthur Schoonderwoerd  - Raymond Bonheur  - Vincent Deliau

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