Mélodies françaises

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Reynaldo Hahn, Charles-François Gounod, (Amedée-)Ernest Chausson, (Alexis-)Emmanuel Chabrier, Johann Paul Aegidius Martini, Georges Bizet, Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet, Alfred Bachelet, (Marie Eugène) Henri Duparc, (Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes

Label: EMI

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: 555388-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(Le) Rossignol des lilas Reynaldo Hahn Composer
Barbara Hendricks
Michel Dalberto
(L') Absent Charles-François Gounod Composer
Barbara Hendricks
Michel Dalberto
(7) Mélodies (Amedée-)Ernest Chausson Composer
Barbara Hendricks
Michel Dalberto
Chanson pour Jeanne Barbara Hendricks
Michel Dalberto
(Alexis-)Emmanuel Chabrier Composer
Plaisir d'amour Michel Dalberto
Barbara Hendricks
Johann Paul Aegidius Martini Composer
Adieux de l'hôtesse arabe Michel Dalberto
Barbara Hendricks
Georges Bizet Composer
(Les) Erinnyes Christoph Richter
Michel Dalberto
Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
Barbara Hendricks
Chanson perpétuelle Cherubini Quartet
Michel Dalberto
(Amedée-)Ernest Chausson Composer
Barbara Hendricks
Chère nuit Alfred Bachelet Composer
Michel Dalberto
Barbara Hendricks
(L')île heureuse Barbara Hendricks
(Alexis-)Emmanuel Chabrier Composer
Michel Dalberto
Rêverie Reynaldo Hahn Composer
Barbara Hendricks
Michel Dalberto
Quand je fus pris au pavillon Michel Dalberto
Reynaldo Hahn Composer
Barbara Hendricks
Sérénade Barbara Hendricks
Michel Dalberto
Charles-François Gounod Composer
(L')Invitation au voyage (Marie Eugène) Henri Duparc Composer
Michel Dalberto
Barbara Hendricks
Chanson triste Michel Dalberto
Barbara Hendricks
(Marie Eugène) Henri Duparc Composer
Extase Barbara Hendricks
Michel Dalberto
(Marie Eugène) Henri Duparc Composer
Ouvre ton coeur (La marguerite a fermé) Georges Bizet Composer
Barbara Hendricks
Michel Dalberto
Si mes vers avaient des ailes Reynaldo Hahn Composer
Michel Dalberto
Barbara Hendricks
Viens! Les gazons sont verts! Barbara Hendricks
Charles-François Gounod Composer
Michel Dalberto
(7) Mélodies Barbara Hendricks
(Amedée-)Ernest Chausson Composer
Michel Dalberto
(Les) Filles de Cadix Barbara Hendricks
(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes Composer
Michel Dalberto
(La) Crépuscule Michel Dalberto
Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
Barbara Hendricks
This is like a day that starts so freshly (albeit with serenade rather than aubade) that you feel it must be full of promise. Unlike days that begin well and turn sultry, this keeps its spring-like clarity, neither hot nor cold, and before you know it evening falls; “a perfect day” you might say, casually, going indoors, but it didn’t bring quite what the heart desired.
‘Heart’, I’m afraid, is what is in question, and it is not an easy matter for critical discussion. Let us go back to the beginning. There is Gounod’s Serenade (“Quand tu chantes”) lilting deliciously, the upward arpeggios neat and graceful, followed by a sprightly invitation to get out of bed and join the singer (“Viens! les gazons sont verts!”), barefoot, on the lawn. If asked as sweetly as this one might almost oblige. Then (still with Gounod) we have L’absent involving a change of mood, now tenderly reminiscent but still mild in its emotional range. Bizet comes with a click of the castanets and a sinuous melisma sighed by an Arab hostess: and perhaps at this point the non-event of an expected tingle warns that this is not to be a day of rich development. Chabrier’s L’ile heureuse has me wishing that I could be hearing Hugues Cuenod. Then Chanson perpetuelle recalls Dame Maggie Teyte.
Now Dame Maggie was no softie: there was bitterness in her system and she could swear like a trooper. Her vocal method was based on discipline and her tone was pure, steady and cool. Yet her Chanson perpetuelle, when brought out for comparison, gave me goose-pimples, and in Duparc’s Extase I could have wept. It is partly a way with words (even the word ‘ciel’ at the very start of the Chausson is sung evocatively); partly of tempo (7'47'' to Hendricks’s 6'54'', 4'34'' to 2'59'' in Duparc); more of style (the portamento on “desole” makes all the difference). Yet this hardly explains. All I can do is report reactions: Hendricks, delightful as she is, elicited no frisson and certainly no moisture of the eye. She is, however, a singer of considerable technical resource. Hers is not a powerful voice, but she grades with such skill that everything is heard in perspective (the ‘building’ of verses in Bizet’s Adieux is a good example). The pianist, Michel Dalberto, brings an appropriately bright touch, excellent for instance in the crisp introduction to Delibes’s “Les filles de Cadix”.
The programme itself gives pleasure from first to last, and includes a juicy morsel, rarely encountered now but sung in days of yore by Claudia Muzio, Alfred Bachelet’s Chere nuit, written (1897), I would guess, with a mind aswim, for the first half at any rate, with Strauss’s Morgen (1894).'

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