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Melodies

Stéphane Degout Audio CD

Price: £14.92 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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1. Claude Debussy: La Mer est plus belle que les cathédrales
2. Le Son du cor s'afflige vers les bois
3. L'Échelonnement des haies
4. Henri Duparc: Le Galop
5. Lamento
6. Élégie
7. La Vie antérieure
8. Camille Saint-Saëns: Au cimetière (Mélodies persanes)
9. Tournoiement, songe d'opium (Mélodies persanes)
10. Emmanuel Chabrier: L'Île heureuse
11. Chanson pour Jeanne
12. Les Cigales
13. Reynaldo Hahn: Trois jours de vendanges
14. Cimetière de campagne
15. Maurice Ravel: Histoires naturelles - Le Paon
16. Le Grillon
17. Le Cygne
18. Le Martin-Pêcheur
19. La Pintade
20. Claude Debussy: Trois ballades de françois villon - Ballade de Villon à s'amye
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

New Naïve signing baritone Stéphane Degout has already featured as soloist with the internationally renowned choral group Accentus on Brahms' German Requiem and Fauré's Requiem. The programme on his solo debut CD is a selection of mélodies by various French composers, Debussy, Ravel, Duparc, Saint-Saëns, Chabrier, and Reynaldo Hahn. Stéphane Degout and Hélène Lucas will perform music featured on this disc at London’s Wigmore Hall on Thursday 10 February. Stéphane Degout first met pianist Hélène Lucas when he entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon in 1995. She soon detected the young singer’s qualities and introduced him to the world of the mélodie and the lieder, and Stéphane gave his first recitals of this repertoire with Hélène Lucas as accompanist. After his acclaimed debut as Papageno at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence, the international operatic world opened its doors to him and kept him away from the lied and the mélodie for a while, but he has now returned to his roots. Next to the great names of the French mélodie, Fauré, Debussy, and Ravel, Gounod, Bizet, Chabrier and Saint-Saëns appear less often in the singer’s repertoire. Among the latter’s many songs the pieces featured here are splendid examples of subtle orientalism. The less numerous mélodies of Chabrier introduce a French approach to Wagnerism with highly elaborate piano parts and extremely sensual vocal lines. The third of the somewhat neglected mélodistes represented in this programme is Reynaldo Hahn. His vocal works are frequently viewed as relatively lightweight, but the two songs featured here Trois jours de vendanges, and Cimetière de campagne are full of depth and melancholy. Personnel: Stéphane Degout (baritone), Hélène Lucas (piano)

Review

(5 stars) There's no mistaking the quality of Degout's sensual, yet gritty voice, or of his artistry...great poetry...great music.
-- The Guardian, (Tim Ashley), February 11, 2011

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best since Souzay 20 Oct 2011
By Ilmusico - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
An exceptional effort. Degout has a fine baritone--sinewy when needed but delicate as well. I have always thought of French melodies as perfumed, delicate, charming. They emerge here as vigorous, heartfelt music. The accompaniment is neither intrusive nor overly reticent, the French diction superb. Gerard Souzay has long been my favorite interpreter of French song. Here is a new master.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new French baritone steps in the tradition of fine French mélodie 28 Feb 2013
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
For most of us the ideal French baritone has been defined in terms of the heady, fragile, sometimes overly sensitive singing of Pierre Bernac, Martial Singher, Gérard Souzay, and Bernard Kruysen. That is changing now with the introduction of Stéphane Degout to that inner circle. He is a singer with a magnificent voice who understands the intimacy of salon songs and how to seduce an audience with this very special genre of music.

This CD represents the continued concert performances of Stéphane Degout with his constant collaborator at the piano Hélène Lucas. Degout first met pianist Hélène Lucas when he entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon in 1995.She soon detected the young singer's qualities and introduced him to the world of the mélodie and the lieder, and Stéphane gave his first recitals of this repertoire with Hélène Lucas as accompanist. The two are simpatico as we would expect after touring this particular set of songs throughout Europe. One critic has remarked `Degout's abundant musical gifts, his intelligence and integrity, resurrect, as no other performance I know, the sights seen, the emotions felt, by the wild and vagabond poet of the 15th century. They are as alive and present as the man who sings them.' This is indeed true of every composer whose songs he has elected to include in the generous (74 minutes) sampling of the French repertoire.

The works included on this recording are as follows:

Chabrier: L'ile heureuse, Chanson pour Jeanne, Les Cigales
Debussy: La mer est plus belle, Le Son du cor, L'échelonnement des haies, Trois Ballades de François Villon
Duparc: Le Galop, Lamento, Élégie, La Vie antérieure
Hahn, R: Trois jours de vendange, Cimetière de campagne
Ravel: Histoires naturelles (5)
Saint-Saëns: Au cimetière (Mélodies persanes), Tournoiement `Songe d'opium' Op. 26, No. 6

While there are many sopranos and mezzo-sopranos who emphasize the French repertoire, few men incorporate these perfumed works into their various recitals. It is now hopeful that Stéphane Degout will resurrect the tradition of his famous forebears. Grady Harp, February 13
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A waning tradition gains a skilled, sincere new voice 1 Mar 2013
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I think it's fair to say that unlike German lieder, French art songs don't travel far from home - one only has to note the absence of a great representative since the heyday of Gerard souzay in the 1960s (my favorite recordings since then have come from Barbara Hendricks, an american). the required vocal style is suave and silken, as is the singer's pose. Not many foreigners can carry it off, any more than they could walk down the Champs Elysee with spats and a cane. But the range of songs lacks dramatic and tragic contrast; without the handful of songs by Duparc (four are included on this program), the landscape would be marked by low outcroppings of poignancy, tenderness, regret, restrained passion, irony, and melancholy - no cliffs or alpine heights.

Stephane Degout, whose voice has roughly the same weight and range as Christopher Maltman's, another fine lyric baritone, is a welcome initiate into a small club, then. His sound isn't very personal or distinctive, but he is fully involved in these mostly familiar French melodies. I'm not as enthusiastic about his accompanist, Helene Lucas, as the previous reviewers. She's a touch more flexible than Souzay's Dalton Baldwin, but that's no great compliment. Degout is left to lead the interpretations rather than being challenged by an equal partner.

The singer came to notice with a fine performance of the baritone solo in Brahms's German Requiem - how many French singers have even undertaken the part? - reminding me that Souzay also made a name singing German music, mostly lieder. Degout's delivery isn't as silky as his great predecessors'; in that regard, he's more like Jose Van Dam, both emphasizing their virile side. These songs aren't virile, so the overall effect can be a little rough. One counts on the knowing, cosmopolitan pose of French recitalists. But I'm examining this CD through a magnifying glass. On the whole it is a very appealing addition to a sophisticated tradition that is sorely lacking in current exponents.

Chabrier:

L'ile heureuse

Chanson pour Jeanne

Les Cigales

Debussy:

La mer est plus belle

Le Son du cor

L'échelonnement des haies

Trois Ballades de François Villon

Duparc:

Le Galop

Lamento

Élégie

La Vie antérieure

Hahn, R:

Trois jours de vendange

Cimetière de campagne

Ravel:

Histoires naturelles (5)

Saint-Saëns:

Au cimetière (Mélodies persanes)

Tournoiement `Songe d'opium' Op. 26, No. 6
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