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Debussy: Clair de lune CD

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Product details

  • Performer: Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard, Le jeune choeur de Paris
  • Composer: Debussy
  • Audio CD (6 Feb. 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B006LPI0IC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,543 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Nuit d'étoiles
2. Pantomime
3. Claire de lune
4. Pierrot
5. Apparition
6. En sourdine
7. Fête galante
8. Romance (L'Ame évaporée)
9. Les Cloches
10. Rondel chinois
11. Flots, palmes, sables
12. La Romance d'Ariel
13. Regret
14. Le matelot qui tombe à l'eau
15. Coquetterie posthume
16. L'Archet
17. Romance
18. Les Elfes
19. La Damoiselle élue

Product Description

One of the chief attractions of this album is the inclusion of the premiere recordings of four songs unpublished songs Debussy wrote when he was 20, that had only recently come to light.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Entartete Musik on 22 Mar. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I adore Natalie Dessay. From the note-gilding tricks of her Mozart Concert Arias, to the abject Mélisande she delivered on her birthday last year, she has wowed time and time again. But it's useless to pretend that her voice is the instrument it once was. And what works in the concert hall no longer translates to disc, as evidenced in this new recording of Debussy Mélodies.

Rather than the whispered tones of her Mélisande, Dessay has chosen a more direct approach with works from Debussy's early years. The decision exposes nascent lyrical shortcomings. Dessay's sound is too focussed and edgy. While I praise a muscular approach to Debussy on Rafa' Blechacz's recent piano disc, it doesn't work for the composer's vocal idiom. This is uptight rather than intense singing and the effect can be waring over the course of its 73-minute duration. But when Dessay releases herself from those contraints, she shines.

A confessional 'Claire de lune' and the more pregnant reflections of 'Regret' (including some ravishing floating) allow a natural sense of communication to come to the fore. Yet in that change from spirited young girl to full-throated woman (via complicated and no doubt painful operations on her nodes), Dessay has been forced to swallow her words in favour of a more open sound. If only she could take Philippe Cassard's lead from the piano, where he provides a languid but light accompaniment.

Despite Dessay's unidiomatic presence, this is an enjoyable disc. For, bar the Prélude de l'après-midi d'un faune and the String Quartet, Debussy's early years go under-celebrated. There are four world premieres included and a rare chance to hear the 1890s cantata La damoiselle élue. But you cannot help feel that, however devoted to Dessay, she is now suited to other repertoire. Instead, for a recent Debussy benchmark, do have a listen to Sandrine Piau.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 0 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Much more than Claire de Lune 14 April 2012
By Alan-Clarke Hudson - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An excellent CD and the hype I heard about it was all true. Dessay was made for this type music. Having a native French soprano singing French music especially from this period in music history is well worth the price of the disc. All in all, a terrific recital.
Dr. Alan-Clarke Hudson
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Natalie Dessay at home with Debussy Songs 22 Jun. 2012
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This album of songs, some recorded for the first time is definitely a collaboration between winger and pianist. It is the scholarship and investigation of Philippe Cassard that provided the impetus for this recording that takes Natalie Dessay away from her usual coloratura and Baroque roles and places her in the position of a chanteuse for a satisfying recital. Still, this is very much a pet project of Cassard's, and the real coup is the presentation of four unpublished songs Cassard discovered in the archives of an arts patron. The most extraordinary of these is Les Elfes, Debussy's now longest song, a perfumed, skittish setting of Leconte de Lisle's Erlking-tinged romantic ballad, but quite frankly they are all gems, with a wonderful salon feel to Romance, and brooding, almost Schubertian turmoil in L'Archet.

Dessay is at the peak of her career and while her place is most comfortably on the opera stage, she has stepped on the concert stage with relative ease. Together Dessay and Cassard offer 13 songs: Clair de Lune. Nuit d'etoiles. Pantomime. Pierrot. Apparition. En Sourdine. Fête galante. Romance. Les Cloches. Rondel chinois. La Romance d'Ariel. Regret. Le Matelot qui tombe à l'eau. Coquetterie posthume. L'Archet. Romance. Les Elfes. Flots, Palmes in which they are joined by Catherine Michel, harp, and the mini-oratorio La Damoiselle élue blissfully delivered by Dessay with Karine Deshayes, mezzo soprano and the chamber version with the Jeune Choeur de Paris conducted by Henri Chalet. As ne critic has said, `The choir and mezzo are flawless, and without orchestra to fight against, Dessay takes her fragile sound down to a delectable whisper. In many ways this is the highlight of the disc and supplements the classic orchestral versions with Victoria de los Angeles or, for a similar vulnerability to the singing, Ileana Cotrubas.'

Though this is a new direction for Dessay, and that alone can explain the at times odd decisions she makes vocally as she has the stage to herself independent of operatic trappings, her crystalline and supple coloratura serve her well. This is an art song collector's prize and should find a rather satisfied audience beyond the usual scope of Natalie Dessay's current operatic following. Grady Harp, June 12
Natalie Dessay's Debussy recording 28 Mar. 2014
By Jeanne Duffy - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I found it a marvelous recording. Natalie sings beautifully (and, of course, her French is impeccable), capturing the moods of Debussy.
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