Fauré: Au bord de l'eau - The Complete Songs, Vol. 1

Fauré: Au bord de l'eau - The Complete Songs, Vol. 1

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Overview

Fauré: Au bord de l'eau - The Complete Songs, Vol. 1

The first volume of Hyperion's complete Fauré songs is called "Au bord de l'eau" (by the water's edge) -- a reference to the French master's fondness for aquatic, nautical, and natural subjects in poetry, as well as to the title of one of his most famous songs. Having decided against a purely chronological survey of Fauré's songs, an approach that would have progressed from the lyrical outpourings of the composer's youth to the much thornier works of his later years, pianist Graham Johnson and Hyperion have instead divided the songs into thematic groups -- in the case of this first volume, songs that make poetic or musical reference to nature, water, sailing, and so on. Organizing the songs in this way sheds light on themes that ran throughout the composer's creative life, and happily avoids the academic cheerlessness that often ruins complete editions. From a musical standpoint this is a good, but not great, collection. All of the singers, from veterans like Felicity Lott to relative newcomers like Christopher Maltman, deliver polished and secure performances, and Graham Johnson accompanies them all with sensitivity, if not always great involvement. But the all-English cast's French is often too sharply articulated to pass for authentic, and there is a generalized lack of atmosphere, of je ne sais quoi. That said, there are certainly some high points. Geraldine McGreevy and Stella Doufexis' "Tarantelle" brings a welcome wit out of Johnson at the keyboard, and shows a playful, almost Offenbach-like, side of Fauré that is often overlooked. And Stephen Varcoe's understated "Mirages" takes top honors for French style with its even-keeled lyricism and soft, almost caressing approach to phrasing and diction. Johnson's liner notes are some of the most accessible and informative that you'll find in any song collection.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/08/2005
Label: Hyperion Uk
UPC: 0034571173337
catalogNumber: 67333
Rank: 303558

Tracks

  1. Les Matelots, song for voice & piano in E flat Major, Op. 2/2
  2. Seule!, song for voice & piano in E Minor, Op. 3/1
  3. Chanson du pêcheur ("Ma belle amie est morte"), song for voice & piano or orchestra in F minor ("lamento"), Op. 4/1
  4. Barcarolle for voice & piano in G minor, Op. 7/3
  5. Tarentelle, for 2 sopranos & piano, Op. 10/2
  6. Au bord de l'eau ("S'asseoir tous deux au bord du flot"), song for voice & piano, Op. 8/1
  7. Les berceaux, song for voice & piano in B flat minor, Op. 23/1
  8. Au Cimetière, song for voice & piano in E minor, Op. 51/2
  9. Larmes, songs for voice & piano in C Minor, Op. 51/1
  10. Cinq Mélodies 'de Venise', song cycle for voice & piano, Op. 58
  11. Pleurs d'or, for 2 voices & piano in E flat major, Op. 72
  12. Accompangnement, song for voice & piano in G flat major, Op. 85/3
  13. La fleur qui va sur l'eau, song for voice & piano, Op. 85/2
  14. Mirages, song cycle (4) for voice & piano, Op. 113
  15. C'est la paix!, song for voice & piano, Op.114
  16. L'horizon chimérique, song cycle (4) for voice & piano, Op. 118

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