Mirages: The Art of French Song | Champs Hill Records CHRCD159

Mirages: The Art of French Song


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Label: Champs Hill Records

Cat No: CHRCD159

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 21st January 2022



In their latest release for Champs Hill Records, distinguished baritone Roderick Williams and acclaimed pianist Roger Vignoles join forces once again to offer a stunning recording, this time inspired by their critically acclaimed Wigmore Hall recital of French Song. Williams and Vignoles guide the listener through much-loved and lesser-known songs by the most celebrated French composers, and others perhaps less well-known to English audiences.

“One of the particular joys of recording for Champs Hill is to be allowed to programme discs with freedom,” comments Williams. “We assembled the programme as one would a recital programme, contrasting the delicate austerity of late Fauré with the rich sonority of Caplet. We hoped the resulting shape would resemble an evening’s song recital, in which the first half begins gently, grows into something more voluptuous before finishing with a riotous drinking song to lead to the interval; the second begins with a challenging contemporary piece before the reward of great fun, and the whole evening ends with hilarity, mischief and bravura. And not to forget a brief encore, a nod to the most quintessential of French early-twentieth-century composers. To create and record this programme in such charming, relaxed surroundings was a treat; we hope you will enjoy listening in the same quixotic mood.”

Williams and Vignoles’s prior releases for Champs Hill include Brahms’s only song cycle, Die schöne Magelone (2017, CHR108). BBC Music Magazine said: “Williams delivers the narration naturally, while proving once again to be a thoughtful exponent of the sung text, an interpreter consistently attentive to its meaning. As an accompanist, Vignoles is every bit as engaged, his delicate and resourceful playing joining with Williams’ vocalism to point up significant detail.” Prior to this, Williams and Vignoles joined Joan Rogers CBE to present Wolf’s Italian Songbook (2013, CHR054).

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