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Berlioz, Britten, Debussy, Duparc, Koechlin & Ravel: Reflet

Berlioz, Britten, Debussy, Duparc, Koechlin & Ravel: Reflet

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Clair Obscur (Alpha 727), dedicated to German lieder with orchestra, explored the antagonism between light and shadow. Reflet conjures up the nuances and transparencies of French melodies. There is in reflection the idea of an echo, the shadow of a disquieting double, of a plural, diffracted sparkle… A clash of deceptive mirages, a kaleidoscope of senses and flashes of light, it interweaves in strange parallels the score of our lives, adorned with gold and illusions", writes Sandrine Piau. Berlioz, Gauthier, Britten, Hugo, Verlaine, Baudelaire, Duparc, Koechlin, Ravel, Mallarmé... the encounters between these composers and poets"create in me a firework display of colours and shimmers", concludes the French soprano, who is making her 14th recording for Alpha Classics.


Here is a whole album that makes up a single, sublime musical utterance. One feels that every note is almost foreordained as the program opens with classic orchestral songs from Berlioz, Henri Duparc, and the less common Charles Koechlin, proceeding into darker, more mysterious realms with Ravel’s Three Mallarmé Songs, and ending with the youthful ebullience of Britten’s Quatre chansons françaises. Piau’s voice is delicate, soaring, and richly beautiful; one of the miracles of the current scene is its durability and versatility. Her support from conductor Jean-François Verdier, leading the Victor Hugo Orchestra, is confidently smooth, never intruding on the spell Piau weaves.


-- (James Manheim)

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Alpha
    • UPC/Barcode: 3701624510193
    • Item Number: ALPHA1019