Sandrine Piau: Si j’ai aime | Alpha ALPHA445

Sandrine Piau: Si j’ai aime


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Label: Alpha

Cat No: ALPHA445

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 31st May 2019



Sandrine Piau’s first recital for the ALPHA Label, with Susan Manoff (Chimères – Alpha 397), proved an enormous hit (Diapason d’Or of the year, Choc of the year, and Gramophone Editor’s Choice). Her new project is a recital with orchestra celebrating French song of the period when it moved from the private salon to the concert hall. Planned in partnership with the Palazzetto Bru Zane, this programme evokes anticipation, desire, pleasure, memory, in short all the vagaries of love experienced by a romantic heroine… To verses by the poets Hugo, Lamartine, Gautier, and Verlaine, Sandrine Piau has selected song settings by Saint-Saëns (Extase, Aimons-nous), Massenet (Le Poète et le Fantôme), and Vierne, as well as by the rarely-heard Dubois, Guilmant, and Bordes

Julien Chauvin and his period instrument ensemble Le Concert de la Loge combine these songs with orchestral pieces. The disc also presents excerpts from Les Nuits d’été by Berlioz, and ends with the famous classic Plaisir d’amour by Martini.


Another gem from Alpha and the Palazzetto Bru Zane centre. With a bell-like, very French-sounding soprano and crystalline diction, Piau revels in a survey of orchestral songs that includes Berlioz’s Au cimetière and Villanelle, from Les Nuits d’été, and his orchestration of Martini’s Plaisir d’amour.
The Sunday Times 26 May 2019
With her silvery tone, immaculate sense of line and telling if understated way with words, Piau is very much at home in this repertory. There’s grace and elegance in both Saint-Saëns’s ‘Papillons’ and Dubois’s worldly wise ‘Si j’ai parlé … si j’ai aimé’. Massenet’s ‘Le poète et le fantôme’, with its ambiguous mixture of irony and regret, is beautifully done (the ‘ghost’ that haunts the poet is his memory of past affairs). ‘Au cimetière’, meanwhile, gets what has to be its creepiest performance on disc... outstanding throughout, unearthing subtleties in music that is often quite simply but always effectively scored. It’s a most engaging disc.  Tim Ashley
Gramophone August 2019
Gramophone Editor's Choice Gramophone Award Winner

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