FAURÉ The Complete Songs, Vol 2

Author: 
Tim Ashley
SIGCD472. FAURÉ The Complete Songs, Vol 2FAURÉ The Complete Songs, Vol 2

FAURÉ The Complete Songs, Vol 2

  • (3) Songs, No. 2, Rêve d'amour (wds. Hugo: c1862)
  • (L')Aurore
  • Tarentelle
  • Puisqu'ici-bas
  • (3) Songs, Aubade (wds. L. Pomey: c1873)
  • Vocalises for voice and piano, No 7
  • (3) Songs, No. 3, Barcarolle (wds. Monnier: 1873)
  • (3) Songs, No. 2, Notre amour (wds. Silvestre: c1879)
  • (3) Songs, No. 3, Le secret (wds. Silvestre: 1880-81)
  • (4) Songs, No. 3, Le Pays des rêves (wds. Silvestre)
  • Shylock
  • Vocalises for voice and piano, No 22
  • (3) Songs
  • (2) Songs, Le plus doux chemin
  • (2) Songs, Le ramier
  • (3) Songs, No. 2, Hymne (wds. Baudelaire: c1870)
  • (La) Chanson d'Eve

The second instalment of Malcolm Martineau’s survey of Fauré’s songs is exceptionally beautiful, both in choice of material and quality of performance. The format replicates that of its predecessor (A/16): three sets or cycles – La chanson d’Ève (1910), the songs from Shylock (1889) and the Op 85 group (1902) – are juxtaposed with songs that span Fauré’s entire career, shared between a carefully selected line-up of singers, nine in this instance. There are some lovely rarities here, notably the early Baudelaire setting ‘Hymne’ (1870), and a couple of duets, teetering on the virtuoso, that Fauré wrote in 1873 for Pauline Viardot’s daughter Marianne, briefly his fiancée, and her sister Claire.

Two singers new to the series are heard in the main works. Sarah Connolly’s performance of La chanson d’Ève is arguably the finest since Dawn Upshaw’s – ecstatic yet restrained, and superbly controlled, both dynamically and emotionally, as Eve’s awareness of the imperfections of Eden begins to register. Baritone Thomas Oliemans – dark-voiced, very elegant – tackles Shylock and Op 85. The Shylock Serenade blends swagger with sensuality: the ‘Madrigal’, addressed to Portia by the Prince of Aragon, is rightly more artfully poised and formal. His reined-in passion impresses in Op 85, where the Symbolist texts can seem dangerously overwrought.

The remaining singers are all familiar from the first disc. There’s accomplished duetting from Janis Kelly and Lorna Anderson: elsewhere, Kelly’s ability to sustain high, hovering lines is heard to advantage in the exquisite ‘Le pays des rêves’, while Anderson, with her warm middle registers, does wonders with the reflective ‘Le secret’. John Chest, whose singing was a real revelation in Vol 1, is similarly excellent here. Ben Johnson and Iestyn Davies only get one song each, though both are highlights. Martineau’s understanding of Fauré’s piano-writing, in which less means more and virtuosity is avoided in favour of nuance, remains impeccable.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£64/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2017