Opium: Mélodies françaises

Opium: Mélodies françaises

by Philippe Jaroussky Philippe Jaroussky
Opium: Mélodies françaises

Opium: Mélodies françaises

by Philippe Jaroussky Philippe Jaroussky


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In his program notes for this CD, Philippe Jaroussky persuasively argues that, particularly because the traditional repertoire for counter tenors is so small (and much of the Baroque material was in fact written for castrati, an entirely different voice type), there is no reason counter tenors should not explore a broader variety of vocal material. His performance of French mélodies from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries makes an even more compelling case for his argument. Jaroussky rose as a star of Baroque opera not only because of his flawless technique and the exceptional clarity and purity of his voice, but for his ability to bring life, through the depth and emotional honesty of his characterizations, to cardboard roles that had primarily served as vehicles for coloratura fireworks. It's not surprising, then, that he excels in this intensely personal and emotionally transparent repertoire. The songs here represent a wide range of styles, from the conventionally Romantic songs of Massenet and Franck, to the charming faux-Baroque works of Reynaldo Hahn, to the frankly forward-looking "Sonnet" of Paul Dukas. Jaroussky brings his characteristically nuanced alertness to the diversity of the repertoire. He tempers the sweetness of his voice so that even the songs that might easily veer into sentimentality are fully expressive without being cloying. Pianist Jérôme Ducros offers a poetic and supportive accompaniment and is given the opportunity to show off real virtuosity in Saint-Saëns' "Tournoiement." Several of the songs have instrumental obbligatos, capably played by violinist Renaud Capuçon, cellist Gautier Capuçon, and flutist Emmanuel Pahud. The sound is clean and present.

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Product Details

Release Date: 04/07/2009
Label: Erato
UPC: 5099921662126
catalogNumber: 16621
Rank: 214252


  1. A Chloris, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II")
  2. Sombrero (Qu'elle était mutine et coquette), for voice & piano
  3. Élégie: O doux printemps d'autrefois, for voice & piano (from "Mélodies, Vol.1")
  4. Nell, song for voice & piano in G flat Major, Op. 18/1
  5. Le Colibri, for voice & piano, Op. 2/7
  6. Automne, song for voice & piano in B minor, Op.18/3
  7. Mignonne (Mignonne, allons voir si la rose), for voice & piano
  8. Fêtes galantes (text by Verlaine), for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book I")
  9. Le Temps de Lilas, for voice & piano (included in "Poème de l'amour et de la mer")
  10. Les Papillons, for voice & piano, Op. 2/3
  11. Viens! une flûte invisible soupire, for medium/ low voice, flute & piano
  12. Lieder (3), for voice & piano, Op. 27: 1. Les heures
  13. Quand je fus pris au pavillon, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II" and "Rondels")
  14. Offrande, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book I")
  15. Mélodies persanes, songs (6) for voice & piano, Op. 26: 6. Tournoiement "Songe d'opium"
  16. Les cloches ("Les feuilles s'ouvraient"), song for voice & piano, L. 79/2
  17. Sonnet "Amours," for voice & piano
  18. Nuit d'Espagne: L'air est embaumé, for voice & piano (from "Mélodies, Vol.1")
  19. Poems (3) for voice and piano: No. 1, Sur une tombe
  20. Violons dans le soir, song for voice & violin
  21. Nocturne, song for voice & piano, M. 85
  22. Les donneurs de sérénades, for voice & piano
  23. Lied Maritime for voice & piano, Op 43
  24. L'Heure exquise, for voice & piano (No. 5 from Chansons grises)

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