"...a masterpiece heard anew, one might say, in that Véronique Gens has recorded, indeed possibly renewed Les nuits d été for a present generation."Christopher Cook, International Record ReviewCD of the Week --CD Review, BBC Radio 3
Ondine is delighted to announce a new release from star soprano Véronique Gens
, who performs Herminie and Les Nuits d été
by Hector Berlioz and Shéhérazade
by Maurice Ravel with the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire
under the baton of their music director John Axelrod
Véronique Gens is recognised internationally as one of the great sopranos working today. She has forged her career in the baroque repertory and the music of Mozart, but French repertoire, especially Berlioz and Ravel, are "as natural to her as the air that she breathes". Her French remains a model of immaculate diction, both fluid and luminous.
Véronique Gens has a very special relationship to Berlioz's Les Nuits d été
, and here combines them on this disc with Shéhérazade
by Ravel, which conjures up a totally different world.
The charismatic conductor John Axelrod was appointed music director of the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire in 2009, and follows the philosophy of being open to the world with his extraordinarily diverse repertoire choices and innovative programming. He is sought after across the world both for concerts and opera.
"Gens, a soprano who, like Crespin, couples it [Les Nuits d'été with Ravel's ravishing cycle, is much more alive and vivid, giving a passionate account of the wonderful Sur les Lagunes."
--David Cairns, The Sunday Times"No one today delivers French song with the combination of tonal beauty and verbal nuance she does, and each number of Nuits d'Eté offers a miniature masterclass, whether it's in the joyous buoyancy that she brings to the opening Villanelle, the sensuousness wrapped around the phrases of Sur les Lagunes or the hint of mysterious smokiness that invades her tone for Au Cimetière… John Axelrod provides wonderfully supple, attentive support. His players are equally impressive, whether conjuring up the hazy, suggestive backdrops to the gorgeous velvety sheen of Gens's voice in Ravel's Klingsor settings, or the more classically correct accompaniment to Herminie… Pure ravishment."
--Andrew Clements, The Guardian"....the lyrical French soprano par excellence." Richard Fairman, Gramophone"The works on this disc suit her to perfection. She not only pronounces the words, she feels them, caresses them or, when required declaims them with unanswerable authority."
--Roger Nichols, BBC Music Magazine