Visions

Alpha: ALPHA279

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Visions

Awards:

Presto Disc of the Week

16th June 2017

Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2017

Label:

Alpha

Catalogue No:

ALPHA279

Discs:

1

Release date:

23rd June 2017

Barcode:

3760014192791

Length:

55 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)

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Visions


Bizet:

Prière, ô doux souffle de l’ange (from Clovis et Clotilde)

Bruneau:

Seigneur ! Est-ce bien moi que vous avez choisie? (from Geneviève)

David, Félicien:

Sous le feuillage sombre (from Lalla-Roukh)

Février, H:

Dit-elle vrai? (from Gismonda)

Franck, C:

Les Béatitudes, M53: Mater dolorosa

Le flot se lève (from Rédemption)

Godard, B:

Là-bas, vers le palais (from Les Guelfes)

Halévy:

Ce sentier nous conduit vers le couvent voisin (from La Magicienne)

Massenet:

La Vierge: Le Dernier Sommeil de la vierge (Légende sacrée)

La Vierge: L’extase de la Vierge

Niedermeyer:

Ah! Quel songe affreux! (from Stradella)

Saint-Saëns:

Ah! Laissez-moi, ma mère! (from Étienne Marcel)


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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

After an album of French songs (Néère, Alpha215) that earned her a Gramophone Award in 2016, Véronique Gens presents her new recital, this time with orchestra, which gives her an opportunity to display the maturity of her ‘Falcon’ soprano, the central tessitura typical of French Romantic opera, which takes its name from Cornélie Falcon, who created the works of Meyerbeer and Halévy staged in the 1830s.

She pays tribute here to a number of composers whose unknown operas she was the first to reveal in projects mounted by the Palazzetto Bru Zane (which also coproduced the present recording), including David, Godard, Saint-Saëns and Halévy. The programme selects arias from all the genres in vogue in the Romantic era: opera (Saint-Saëns, Halévy, Godard, Février), opéra-comique (David), oratorio (Franck, Massenet) and the cantata for the Prix de Rome (Bizet, Bruneau).

Alfred Bruneau: Geneviève

Geneviève: Seigneur! Est-ce bien moi que avez choise?

César Franck: Les béatitudes, M. 53

Les béatitudes, M. 53: No. 8b, Moi, du Sauveur, je suis la mère

Louis Niedermeyer: Stradella

Stradella: Ah! Quel songe affreux!

Benjamin Godard: Les Guelfes, Op. 70

Les Guelfes, Op. 70: Là-bas, vers le palais

Félicien David: Lalla Roukh

Lalla Roukh: Sous le feuillage sombre

Henry Février: Gismonda

Gismonda: Dit-elle vrai?

Camille Saint-Saëns: Étienne Marcel

Étienne Marcel: Ah! Laissez-moi, ma mère!

Jules Massenet: La vierge

La vierge: Le dernier sommeil de la vierge

La vierge: Extase de la vierge "Rêve infini! Divine extase!"

Fromental Halévy: La magicienne

La magicienne: Ce sentier nous conduit vers le couvent voisin

Georges Bizet: Clovis et Clothilde, WD 121

Clovis et Clothilde, WD 121: Prière, ô souffle de l'ange!

César Franck: Redemption, Op. 22, M. 52

Redemption, Op. 22, M. 52: Le flot se lève

Presto Classical

Katherine Cooper

16th June 2017

“Immensely attractive music - I can think of no finer advocates than Gens and the Münchner Runfunkorchester under Hervé Niquet, who sound for all the world as if they’re playing period instruments thanks to the idiomatic handling of style and sonority on show. There’s a very particular something about Gens’s basic timbre which I’ve always found immensely engaging...and which is eminently suited to the task of bringing these febrile heroines to life.”

The Observer

18th June 2017

****

“What they all have in common is a nobility of utterance, united here by the stunning soprano of Véronique Gens, more often heard in earlier repertoire but bringing piercing clarity to these arias.”

Gramophone Magazine

July 2017

“It’s provocative stuff, its emotional – at times emotive – impact immeasurably heightened by very careful programming...Gens and Niquet throw themselves into all this with an engrossing mix of abandon and restraint. Gens’s trademark combination of purity of utterance and smoky tone speaks volumes.”

Sunday Times

9th July 2017

“Gens has a cool, clear lyric soprano that sounds barely touched by the years, and brings idiomatic diction, tonal radiance and a wide spectrum of colour ...Gens is at her peak, her singing gorgeous.”

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