Chausson, Berlioz, Duparc - Orchestral Songs
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Cat No: ODE12612
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 31st July 2015
WorksLes Nuits d'ete, op.7
Poeme de l'amour et de la mer, op.19
L'Invitation au voyage
Le Manoir de Rosamonde
ArtistsSoile Isokoski (soprano)
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Soprano Soile Isokoski sings orchestral songs by three different French composers in her new recording. The recording includes two major works in the French song repertoire – Ernest Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer and Hector Berlioz’s Nuits d’été.
The disc ends with three finely-crafted miniature songs by Henri Duparc, which are of no less artistic value.
Soile Isokoski is recognized as one of the world’s finest lyric sopranos and regularly appears on the most renowned stages. Isokoski made her début at the Finnish National Opera as Mimi in Puccini’s 'La Bohème' and has since delighted audiences and critics alike at opera houses in Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, London, Milan, Paris and New York, and at the festivals of Salzburg, Savonlinna, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Edinburgh and Orange. Soile Isokoski has worked with numerous distinguished conductors. Isokoski has an extensive concert repertoire, and she regularly gives recitals on the most renowned stages.
In this recording Soile Isokoski is accompanied by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra together with its celebrated Chief Conductor John Storgårds.
1Chausson - Poeme de l'amour et de la mer op.19 no.1: La fleur des eaux
2Chausson - Poeme de l'amour et de la mer op.19 no.2: Interlude
3Chausson - Poeme de l'amour et de la mer op.19 no.3: La mort de l'amour
4Berlioz - Les Nuits d'Ete - no.1 Villanelle
5Berlioz - Les Nuits d'Ete - no.2 Le Spectre de la Rose
6Berlioz - Les Nuits d'Ete - no.3 Sur les Lagunes
7Berlioz - Les Nuits d'Ete - no.4 Absence
8Berlioz - Les Nuits d'Ete - no.5 Au Cimitiere
9Berlioz - Les Nuits d'Ete - no.6 L'Ile inconnue
10Duparc - Le Manoir de Rosamonde
11Duparc - L'Invitation au Voyage
12Duparc - Chanson Triste
Opening proceedings is Ernest Chuasson's great Poème de l'amour et de la mer, to texts by Maurice Bouchor. The story is a simple one: a young man falls in love with a girl on a beach; returning a year later, he finds she has forgotten him. Isokoski captures perfectly both the ecstasy of youthful love and its doubts and anguish. Chausson's post-Wagnerian musical language finds an ideal vehicle in her sumptuous but flexible tones, while the orchestra conjures up a vivid evocation of nature in all its splendid indifference, with some particularly outstanding woodwind and string playing. With a dynamic range that matches the emotional one, this is an exceptionally rewarding performance, each rehearing offering some new detail to the listener.
Berlioz's Les Nuits d'été then breeze in like a breath of fresh air, the bright outer movements reminding us of why Isokoski has proved such a winning Mozartian, with a deft touch and felicitous orchestral detail in support. The inner four movements of these Théophile Gautier settings call for more reflectiveness, and Ms Isokoski is at every point alive to their expressive demands. The reverie of 'Le spectre de la rose' is expertly pitched, as delicate as rose petals, 'Absence' and 'Au cimetière' are luminously sensitive, while the doleful 'Sur les lagunes' hits its mark without ever losing its underlying classical poise. Indeed, in every song the stylishness of singing and playing is as miraculous as the expressive immediacy, focused yet meltingly gorgeous.
The Chausson and Berlioz performances themselves are reason enough hear this disc, but the icing on the cake is a trio of mélodies by the master of the genre, Henri Duparc, in his own orchestrations. With its vibrant horn calls, Le Manoir de Rosamonde is immediately striking, while the achingly beautiful Chanson triste provides a perfect close to the disc, but it is the Baudelaire setting, L'Invitation au voyage that proves most haunting here, a miracle of tone painting that is done rare justice by Ms Isokoski and the superb Helsinki forces.
For connoisseurs and the curious alike, and with outstanding recording to match the top-drawer performances, this disc is quite simply a must-have, and easily one of the discs of the year so far.
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