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Poemes


Price: $18.56 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, March 6, 2012
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Poemes + Guilty Pleasures + The Art of Renee Fleming
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de France
  • Conductor: Alan Gilbert, Myung-Whun Chung, Daniele Gatti, Seiji Ozawa
  • Composer: Maurice Ravel, Henri Dutilleux, Olivier Messiaen
  • Audio CD (March 6, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca Records
  • ASIN: B006Z94AQU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,449 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Asie
2. La Flûte enchantée
3. L'Indifférent
4. Action de grâces
5. Paysage
6. La Maison
7. Épouvante
8. L'Épouse
9. Ta voix
10. Les Deux Guerriers
11. Le Collier
12. PriÃ..re exaucée
13. II n'y avait que des troncs déchirés
14. J'ai rêvé que je vous portais entre mes bras Le Temps l'horloge*
15. Le Temps l'horloge
16. Le Masque
17. Le Dernier PoÃ..me
18. Interlude
19. Enivrez-vous

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Her performance has a grace and charisma that are quite winning . . . [there is] a melting beauty in her middle register that is especially well-suited to Strauss' melodic line . . . Fleming is at her best here, bringing to life the poignant dilemma of a woman who must choose between two suitors and in doing so pronounce a verdict on their art." -- Washington Post, 29 March 2011 (Concert review Capriccio)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 6, 2012
Format: Audio CD
It must have taken all of Renee Fleming's clout to persuade a major label to record French orchestral songs, doubly so when two of the composers, Messiaen and Dutilleux, are modern. One expects that fleming's opera fans will stay away in droves. But whatever popularity this CD gains, it's among her very best, and at age 53 she enjoys the good vocal fortune, as did de los Angeles, of sounding young and seductive. In fact, Fleming's account of Ravel's often-recorded Sheherazade sounds at moments uncannily like de los Angeles - both a trembling and almost breathless, girlish and voluptuous at the same time. Fleming seems fully at home in French (although the printed claim that she is a Francophone belies the fact that she was born in Indiana and went to college in New York).

The Messiaen song cycle, Poemes pour Mi (Mi being the nickname of his first wife), dates form the Thirites, which means that it is written in a post-Debussy idiom before Messiaen became Messiaen. That doesn't imply conservatism. The agitated "Epouvante" ("Terror") portrays a kind of nauseous fear using a slippery, exotic sound palette that the mature Messiaen would famously extend even further. But most of the nine poems celebrate a sense of loving calm with religious overtones. Melody is not the cycle's strong point - it takes off from the sing-song style of Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, often repeating the same note or remaining within a narrow band. Amazingly, Fleming performed the Messiaen as part of a PBS broadcast from Lincoln Center; such events are generally restricted to standard fare. Alan Gilbert conducted then and repeats here with the Orchestre Philharmonique of French Radio (one of the country's most forward-looking ensembles under their music director Myung-Whun Chung).
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By old-phonographs on March 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is so exciting when a recording accomplishes something new and interesting. This is the case with the beautiful and exceedingly interesting album. The lush and beautiful Ravel and the more "modern" Messian and the fantastically beautiful Dutilleux. We are lucky that there is an artist with the stature in the business to pull off such an album at a time when the recording industry in such flux and confusion. Thank you Renee! You have done the music world a great service.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Few singers have the staying power as Renee Fleming who continues to add roles to her operatic repertoire that are challenging and still pay attention to the music for voice and piano as well as for voice and orchestra that allow her to stretch her wings even more broadly. This CD of French music is breathtakingly beautiful. Fleming sings this difficult collection of songs with orchestra with complete ease, as if each song was just a simple encore. They, of course, are not encore in nature. These are song cycles and episodes that require not only a voice capable of feats of daring but also demand the setting of moods - and Fleming succeeds on all levels.

The first cycle offered is Maurice Ravel's sensuous Shéhérazade with Alan Gilbert conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Fleming floats these poems with the passion and sexuality they deserve. The poems are by Tristan Klingsor: (Asie, La flûte enchantée, and L'indifférent), breathe here both in the voice and in Gilbert's orchestral shimmer. The second cycle Poèmes pour Mi is by Olivier Messiaen and require the vocalist to find that exotic, mystical realm Messiaen inhabited. These are difficult songs but Fleming approaches them ecstatically and with fine vocalism. Gilbert again conducts.

The final cycle is a world premiere recording - Henri Dutilleux's Le Temps L'Horloge, a work written for Fleming and performed here in tandem with Dutilleux's Deux Sonnets de Jean Cassou (Dutilleux requested these songs be included). These Dutilleux works are the least known and bear no comparison, but if what Fleming does with these songs is under the guidance of the composer then they likely will remain definitive. The Orchestre National de France is conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
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By danny jones on March 28, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I believe Renee Fleming is the best soprano ever. I just love everything she does. Looking for more Jazz please.
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I bought it when I heard she would sing the national Anthem at the Super Bowl. I love her passion and her intense and most beautiful voice.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By michael sugarman on March 27, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not guilty(pleasures). Renee Fleming has one of the most sumptuous,beautiful voices of all time. However, she is so enthused over being multi sided, or "crossing over" that at times it detracts rather than adds. Many of us prefer just to be entertained,not too needful of being edified,not being such ardent historians as she is. Some passages here are breathtaking for sure,worth any price to hear. Others lag just a little,as do some of her recitals these days,with too much emphasis on interestingly obscure music,some of which might almost be better remaining obscure. Some border on being exercises in ego indulgence,such as poemes dedicated to herself,sung by herself. Ms. Fleming aims to be more than an opera singer,in fact she ventures into jazz, theatre and rock. She is not Judy Garland,not Barbra Streisand. Why would she want to be,when she is perhaps the greatest soprano of all time? Further, i attended Rusalka several weeks ago at the Met,noting that,although her voice is as beautiful as ever, some notes went unheard entirely. She has always been about beauty,not power, but it is also possible she is spreading herself too thin. Hearing her sing opera has been for years one of the things that make life worth living. I wish she would give herself fewer distractions, and give us fewer lectures,so as to protract our pleasures for as long a period as humanly possible.
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