Veronique Gens: Visions | Alpha ALPHA279

Veronique Gens: Visions

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Label: Alpha

Cat No: ALPHA279

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 23rd June 2017

Contents

Works

Bizet, Georges

Clovis et Clotilde
» Priere, o doux souffle de l'ange ! (Priere de Clotilde)

Bruneau, Alfred

Genevieve: Scene lyrique
» Scene I: Introduction, recitatif et air de Genevieve

David, Felicien

Lalla Roukh
» Sous le feuillage sombre (Air de Lalla-Roukh)

Fevrier, Pierre

Gismonda
» Dit-elle vrai ? (Air de Gismonda)

Franck, Cesar

Les Beatitudes
» Mater dolorosa 'moi, du sauveur, je suis la mere'
Redemption
» Air de l'Archange

Godard, Benjamin

Les Guelfes, op.70
» Prelude et air de Jeanne 'la-bas, vers le palais'

Halevy, Fromenthal (Jacques)

La Magicienne: Grand opera en 5 actes
» Ce sentier nous conduit vers le couvent voisin (Recit et air de Blanche)

Massenet, Jules

La Vierge
» Le dernier sommeil de la vierge
» Reve infini! Divine extase!

Niedermeyer, Louis

Stradella: Opera en 5 actes
» Ah !… Quel songe affreux !

Saint-Saens, Camille

Etienne Marcel: Opera en 4 actes
» Ah ! Laissez-moi, ma mere ! (Recit et air de Beatrix)

Artists

Veronique Gens (soprano)
Munchner Rundfunkorchester

Conductor

Herve Niquet

Works

Bizet, Georges

Clovis et Clotilde
» Priere, o doux souffle de l'ange ! (Priere de Clotilde)

Bruneau, Alfred

Genevieve: Scene lyrique
» Scene I: Introduction, recitatif et air de Genevieve

David, Felicien

Lalla Roukh
» Sous le feuillage sombre (Air de Lalla-Roukh)

Fevrier, Pierre

Gismonda
» Dit-elle vrai ? (Air de Gismonda)

Franck, Cesar

Les Beatitudes
» Mater dolorosa 'moi, du sauveur, je suis la mere'
Redemption
» Air de l'Archange

Godard, Benjamin

Les Guelfes, op.70
» Prelude et air de Jeanne 'la-bas, vers le palais'

Halevy, Fromenthal (Jacques)

La Magicienne: Grand opera en 5 actes
» Ce sentier nous conduit vers le couvent voisin (Recit et air de Blanche)

Massenet, Jules

La Vierge
» Le dernier sommeil de la vierge
» Reve infini! Divine extase!

Niedermeyer, Louis

Stradella: Opera en 5 actes
» Ah !… Quel songe affreux !

Saint-Saens, Camille

Etienne Marcel: Opera en 4 actes
» Ah ! Laissez-moi, ma mere ! (Recit et air de Beatrix)

Artists

Veronique Gens (soprano)
Munchner Rundfunkorchester

Conductor

Herve Niquet

About

After an album of French songs (Néère, Alpha 215) 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). A nod to Wagner and his Tannhäuser – in its French translation of the 1860s– completes this programme conducted by a longstanding colleague of the soprano, one of the leading specialists in French music, Hervé Niquet.

“Gens allows the lyric beauty of each song to speak for itself, with the minimum of interference and the maximum of tonal beauty.” - The Guardian (review of Néère)

Reviews

For the Romantics, visions could be spiritual or sensual, scary or sublime and this fascinating collection of soprano arias ranges widely. The 19th-century religious fervour of César Franck’s Béatitudes and Jules Massenet’s La Vierge is contrasted with the secular grandeur of Henry Février’s Gismonda from 1919 and Halévy’s fine La Magicienne of 1858. 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.  Nicholas Kenyon
The Observer 18 June 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 to arias... Gens is at her peak, her singing gorgeous.  Hugh Canning (Album of the Week)
The Sunday Times 9 July 2017
Gens also treats unfamiliar arias by better-known composers to some lambent, idiomatic singing. The Münchner Rundfunkorchester under Hervé Niquet offers quality support.
Financial Times 30 June 2017
A brand new favourite... The kind of repertoire that this former baroque specialist is increasingly spreading her wings and her voice... It's an outstanding recital...
Record Review (BBC Radio 3) 24 June 2017
This tremendous, heady disc finds Véronique Gens and Hervé Niquet examining sub-cults of visionaries, saints and mystics in some of the less familiar 19th- and early 20th-century French operas and oratorios. It’s provocative stuff, its emotional – at times emotive – impact immeasurably heightened by very careful programming. ... the way Gens’s voice surges in rapture through the Massenet is simply breathtaking. Niquet is just as committed, just as insightful, and the Munich Radio Orchestra’s contribution is first rate. At 56 minutes, the disc is on the short side, but any more would, I suspect, feel like overkill.  Tim Ashley
Gramophone July 2017
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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