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Sings Debussy / Forgotten Songs


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Sings Debussy / Forgotten Songs + Dawn Upshaw: Knoxville: the Summer of 1915
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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Mar. 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002B6P
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,175 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Recueil Vasnier: Pantomime (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Calmes dans le demi-jour (En sourdine) (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:55£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Mandoline (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 1:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Recueil Vasnier: Clair de lune (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Recueil Vasnier: Fantoches (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 1:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Recueil Vasnier: Coquetterie posthume (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 3:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Recueil Vasnier: Romance - Silence ineffable (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Recueil Vasnier: Musique (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 1:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Recueil Vasnier: Paysage sentimental (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Recueil Vasnier: Romance - Voici que le printemps (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Recueil Vasnier: La Romance d'Ariel (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 4:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Recueil Vasnier: Regret (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. 1. C'est l'extase langoureuse (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. 2. Il pleure dans mon coeur (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Ariettes oubliées: 3. L'ombre des arbres (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. 4. Chevaux de bois (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Ariettes oubliées: 5. Green (Aquarelle) (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. 6. Spleen (Aquarelle) (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 2:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Le balcon (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 7:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Harmonie du soir (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 4:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire: Le jet d'eau (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 5:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire: Recueillement (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 5:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Cinq poèmes de Baudelaire: La Mort des amants (Voice)James Levine;Dawn Upshaw 3:10£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Orde on 16 Jan. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Full marks to Dawn Upshaw for reviving these forgotten songs. It is this beautiful recording, featuring Upshaw in her prime, which inspired me to reopen my long forgotten scores of the Debussy mélodies, which I'd studied long ago and only ever heard performed on disc by a past generation of singers such as Suzanne Danco and Maggie Teyte, whose recordings can now sound somewhat one-dimensional and appear stylistically dated. This recording in a warm and spacious acoustic not only gives the songs new colour but makes them seem much more contemporary. The digital sound does full justice to the lovely harmonic treatments of the piano parts, excellently played here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Jan. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am very familiar with Debussy's piano, chamber and orchestral music but I knew very few of his songs. I was browsing Amazon for recordings by one of my favourite contemporary singers, Dawn Upshaw, when I came across this CD of beautiful songs, beautifully sung. I am very glad I bought this recording unheard as the 23 songs provide a real treat. The songs 'Clair de lune' bears no relation to the piano and orchestral melody with the same title. The sensitive accompaniments are provided by conductor/pianist James Levine.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
the debussy songbook 19 Sept. 2000
By slightlykooky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Thank you Dawn Upshaw for programming on one CD the 'big' collections of the Debussy vocal repertory. The only other recording which has most of these vocal collections is Barbara Hendrick's 'Melodies' CD which has the Ariettes oubilees and the Baudelaire Poems, but it lacks the Vasnier Songbook. Upshaw's disc is a rare find with its wider-encompassing collection. She is accompanied by the very capable, James Levine, NY MET Conductor. Levine's touch and balance in voicing chords gives the right 'color' to accompany the fluid lines of Debussy's text setting. Upshaw is able to connect long lines with that 'milky' texture her voice is known for, giving an impassioned performance for the listener.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Returning to the Recital Hall: A Soiree 8 April 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Dawn Upshaw is one of the most intelligent and creative and adventuresome singers on the concert stage today. Just reviewing the list of her recordings available and it is obvious that she has paid attention to both contemporary and established composers in a way that is truly refreshing.

Here the program is devoted to the works of Claude Debussy, a composer for whom Upshaw has a particular penchant. Her voice is crystal clear, perfectly focused and yet not afraid to animate when the lyrics demand. She covers three cycles here: 'Ariettes oubliees' (for this listener the most successful on the album), 'Racueil Vasnier', and 'Cinq Poemes de Charles Baudelaire' (contrast these with the recently released Susan Graham version and see what interpretation is all about!).

The collaboration between Upshaw and James Levine is sensitive (if not always the pianism of others..). But the entire recital is uplifting and satisfying for the variation in the songs, recorded sound, the generosity of the disc, and most of all for the musical intelligence in which these songs are performed! Grady Harp, April 05
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great disc of Debussy's 1880s vocal music 22 Jan. 2012
By jt52 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Dawn Upshaw album, despite some stiff competition, remains my favorite performance of Claude Debussy songs and is one of the very best classical song albums I have in my collection. Upshaw has a beautiful voice, sings very musically and technically is outstanding here (the sliding mentioned in other reviews here is less prominent than one would think from reading them). One of the hallmarks of really good singers I think is the ability to hit high notes very softly. Upshaw does so consistently across the 24 songs recorded here. In fact, she spends much of the program very high in her range. So this is a difficult group of songs technically, yet Upshaw excels.

One of the interesting discoveries over time for me has been how Debussy began as primarily a vocal composer and migrated over to being an instrumental composer as he matured. The "title track" here, the "Forgotten Songs" (Ariettes oubliettes), dates from 1887, when Debussy was just 25 (!), and I think represents his first great composition. Later in the decade, Debussy was to complete the extremely sophisticated "Cinq Poemes de Baudelaire" as well as the orchestral/vocal setting of the pre-Raphaelite "Blessed Damosel," moving on to the almost unknown but stunning Trois melodies from Verlaine (1891) and then the essential non-orchestrated composition of his only opera, the marvelous "Pelleas and Melisande." Then the vocal music drifts off as Debussy becomes increasingly interested in piano and orchestral composition.

Upshaw has programmed music from the very beginning of Debussy's development, with the Baudelaire songs concluding the release finished when the composer was all of 27. The album is programmed thematically around a long and adulterous romance Debussy had with Marie Vanier, an older married woman and accomplished amateur soprano. The CD begins with 12 earlier songs. While a few are remarkable (for example, La Romance d'Ariel (track 11)), it interested me that one of the ways Debussy matured as an artist was to make his music much more distinctive and memorable, which is obviously not a technical characteristic. The 12 early Vanier songs are pleasant but flow by you in somewhat unmemorable fashion. The Ariettes oubliettes and Baudelaire songs, in contrast, are incisive, each one different from the other, and each one memorable.

James Levine provides expert if unobtrusive accompaniment. The recording is from 1995 and I am happy to report that Sony has emerged from the technical recording problems afflicting many of their early 1990s release - a long way of saying that the engineering is pretty good. Other recordings that are worth investigating include an overlapping album by the French alto Nathalie Stutzman, a nice recording from the mid-1980s by Barbara Hendricks and a version of the Ariettes oubliettes by the French soprano Veronique Gens. Each of these alternatives range from the outstanding to the very good, but Upshaw holds her own. I think this is a great recording.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Worthy revival 8 May 2008
By C. Orde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Full marks to Dawn Upshaw for reviving these forgotten songs. It is this beautiful recording, featuring Upshaw in her prime, which inspired me to reopen my long-forgotten scores of the Debussy mélodies, which I'd studied decades ago and only ever heard performed on disc by a past generation of singers such as Suzanne Danco and Maggie Teyte, whose recordings can now sound somewhat one-dimensional and appear stylistically dated. This recording, in a warm and spacious acoustic, not only gives the songs new colour but makes them seem much more contemporary. The digital sound does full justice to the lovely harmonic treatments of the piano parts, excellently played here.

There are now several recordings by contemporary French vocalists, but they tend to be rather characterless and mundane, as if French song is all in a day's work for them (which it probably is!). The notes and diction may be more perfectly rendered by the French interpreters, but for me, their versions are nowhere near as expressive as Upshaw's. In this recording, the warmth of her personality and, more importantly, her love of this music, shine through and bring out the sheer beauty of these songs.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Dawn Upshaw sounds luminous 30 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
So many of these songs are taken from french love poems, and they are very very dreamy. Many feature the moon and the sea. Dawn Upshaw's voice is clear and slides over the big intervals with remarkable ease and then dwells expressively both up high and down low. Very enjoyable.
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