Ne me refuse pas: French Opera Arias

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Canadian mezzo-soprano Marie-Nicole Lemieux first made a name for herself in Naïve's admirable Vivaldi series, but she has also released albums of German and French repertoire. In this recital, she gathers an intriguing selection of scenes and arias from French opera, largely from the Romantic era, plus one late classical work. The album features a few very familiar pieces, such as "Habanera" from "Carmen" and "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" from "Samson et Dalila," and some that are very obscure, including excerpts from Halévy's "Charles VI" and André Wormser's "Clytemnestre," but the majority are from the fringes of the mezzo-soprano repertory: selections from Berlioz's ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Canadian mezzo-soprano Marie-Nicole Lemieux first made a name for herself in Naïve's admirable Vivaldi series, but she has also released albums of German and French repertoire. In this recital, she gathers an intriguing selection of scenes and arias from French opera, largely from the Romantic era, plus one late classical work. The album features a few very familiar pieces, such as "Habanera" from "Carmen" and "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" from "Samson et Dalila," and some that are very obscure, including excerpts from Halévy's "Charles VI" and André Wormser's "Clytemnestre," but the majority are from the fringes of the mezzo-soprano repertory: selections from Berlioz's "Roméo et Juliette" and "Les Troyens," Massenet's "Hérodiade" and "Werther," Thomas' "Mignon," and Cherubini's "Médée." Lemieux has a warm, ample voice and the ability to deploy it with considerable force when called to, as in the music from "Hérodiade" and "Les Troyens." She has an ability to spin out supple legato lines that is especially evident in "Médée," "Roméo et Juliette," and "Samson et Dalila." Her expressive range is impressive, and she brings a focused dramatic sensibility to each of the roles. There's a hidden encore at the end of the last track, a delightful aria from Offenbach's "La fille du tambour-major" that demonstrates that Lemieux is as skilled at comedy as she is at the seductiveness, anguish, fury, or tenderness required by the other arias. Orchestra National de France, led by Fabien Gabel, plays with a level of commitment and nuance beyond what is usually heard in ensembles accompanying vocal recitals, which can easily sound routine and perfunctory. Naïve's sound is clean, with a nicely ambient presence.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/2010
  • Label: Naive
  • UPC: 822186052013
  • Catalog Number: 5201
  • Sales rank: 228,517

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Hérodiade, opera in 4 acts: Ne me refuse pas - Jules Massenet & Orchestre National de France (6:05)
  2. 2 Médée (Medea), opera in 3 acts: Ah! nos peines seront communes - Luigi Cherubini & Orchestre National de France (8:52)
  3. 3 Charles VI, opera: Sous leur sceptre... Humble fille des champs - Jacques-François Fromental Halévy & Orchestre National de France (12:09)
  4. 4 Roméo et Juliette, for alto, tenor, bass, chorus & orchestra ("symphonie dramatique"), H.79 (Op. 17): Premiers transports - Hector Berlioz & Orchestre National de France (6:49)
  5. 5 Mignon, opera in 3 acts: Connais-tu le pays? - Ambroise Thomas & Orchestre National de France (5:43)
  6. 6 Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts: Werther, Werther! Qui m'aurait dit la place... - Jules Massenet & Orchestre National de France (11:10)
  7. 7 Carmen, opera: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle - Georges Bizet & Orchestre National de France (4:37)
  8. 8 Les Troyens, opera, H. 133a: Je vais mourir - Hector Berlioz & Orchestre National de France (6:19)
  9. 9 Samson et Dalila, opera in 3 acts, Op. 47: Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix - Camille Saint-Saëns & Orchestre National de France (9:38)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Marie-Nicole Lemieux Primary Artist
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