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Mélodies Françaises Pour Bariton

Gerard Souzay , Jacqueline Bonneau , Various Artists , None Audio CD

Price: £6.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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REG 1236; REGIS - Inghilterra; Classica Lirica Lied

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great French singer caught at his youthful best 12 Dec 2012
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
I was sorry to read somewhere that the great French singer Gerard Souzay, who owned the role of Golaud in Pelleas et Melisande, has largely been forgotten. For anyone who wants just one CD of melodies francaises sung with a rare mixture of passion, musicianship, and authority, this midprice release would be my choice. Souzay came of age in the Second World War, training at the Paris Convervatoire during the Nazi occupation, but almost the minute that peace was declared his talents were recognized. A student of philosophy in college, he was a thinker's singer, like Fischer-Dieskau, and the two greatly admired each other. Like F-D, Souzay had a lyric baritone, but he used it with more poise and delicacy. Also like F-D, the timbre of the voice is instantly recognizable.

These selections are all mono recordings from 1950 to 1952, in very good sound with little or no distortion at loud volume. Souzay had two accompanists during his long career - he sang until 1988 - and the one heard here, Jacqueline Bonneau, is very fine (even though Souzay built a sizable discography in stereo for Philips and ventured successfully into German lieder, his later accompanist and life partner, Dalton Baldwin, was not a first-rate musician). Many of the most familiar melodies of Faure, Debussy, and Ravel are included in this generous collection of thirty songs, and they became Souzay's favorite composers, a perfect fit for his seductive, sinuous, smooth delivery. He is equally appealing in Chausson and Duparc; a scattering of orchestral arrangements are also included. I was transported back to an era of elegant French singing now long vanished.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By L. Mitnick - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Gerard Souzay is my favorite French baritone. Known for his work on the recital stage rather than the operatic arena, he is the ideal exponent of the French Art Song. He was also a specialist in the German Lied. At the time of this recording, his voice was young, silky, and full of nuance. For anyone who wants to know how beautiful and lyrical French vocal music is, this recording is an absolute "must". There is no artist today who can equal much less surpass what Souzay gives us here.
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