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Faure: La Chanson D' Eve and Other Songs Import

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, February 1, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

La Chanson d'Eve & autres mélodies (Après un rêve, En Sourdine, Les Présents, Chanson du Pêcheur, Le Secret, Les Berceaux, Les roses d'Ispahan...) / Janet Baker, mezzo-soprano - Geoffrey Parsons, piano

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Le papillon et la fleur, Op. 1, No. 1
  2. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Chanson du pecheur (Lamento), Op. 4, No. 1
  3. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Reve d'amour, Op. 5, No. 2
  4. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Apres un reve, Op. 7, No. 1
  5. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Hymne, Op. 7, No. 2
  6. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Aubade, Op. 6, No. 1
  7. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Barcarolle, Op. 7, No. 3
  8. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Toujours! Op. 21, No. 2
  9. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Les Berceaux, Op. 23, No. 1
  10. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Le Secret, Op. 23, No. 3
  11. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Aurore, Op. 39, No. 1
  12. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Les Roses d'lspahan, Op. 39, No. 4
  13. En Priere Op.46 No.1
  14. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Les Presents, Op. 46, No. 1
  15. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Paradis
  16. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Prima verba
  17. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Roses ardentes
  18. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Comme Dieu rayonne...
  19. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: L'aube blanche
  20. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Eau vivante
  21. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Veilles-tu, ma senteur de soleil...
  22. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Dans un parfum de roses blanches...
  23. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Crepuscule
  24. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: O mort, poussiere d'etoiles
  25. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Spleen, Op. 51, No. 3
  26. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Green, Op. 58, No. 3
  27. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: En sourdine, Op 58, No. 2
  28. La Chanson d'Eve And Other Songs: Mandoline, Op. 58, No. 1


Product Details

  • Performer: Janet Baker, Geoffrey Parsons
  • Composer: Gabriel Faure
  • Audio CD (February 1, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: HYPERION
  • ASIN: B000002ZLC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,982 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ralph Moore TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 8, 2009
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What a relief to turn to this disc after the disappointing Hyperion effort with Vol. 4 of Fauré's songs and mélodies. In my review of that sad disc, I suggest looking to artists such as Janet Baker for the correct voice and style - and here is the proof. It is true that there are some signs of wear in the middle of the voice - a little permanent huskiness, perhaps - but the top rings out as round and full as ever with that peculiarly plaintive and expressive timbre so typical of her - listen to her go for the top A-flat in "Toujours" (track 8). Her French is better than ever and while she brings the utmost delicacy to the more fragile songs, this is not the whispy, breathy, precious style of singing French art songs so easily satirised but rather a heartfelt and committed interpretation of material strong enough to take it.

If you do speak French, I exhort you to ignore Dr Coulardeau's review; it is nonsense. Similarly, it is quite untrue that Baker's voice "has gotten fat and has a distinct wobble", as another reviewer suggests; quite the reverse, in fact: it has dried out a bit. I have been listening to Baker for years, live and on disc, and I am certain that, even allowing for the slight deterioration I mention above, this recital forms a lovely postlude to a distinguished recording career by a much-loved artist.
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Dame Janet Baker is in fine voice on this CD of French art songs by Faure. I like Faure songs, they have more substance than most French art songs, and Ms. Baker's full mezzo voice is just my cup of tea for these songs.
OK, so I don't particularly care for the Songs of Eve of the CD's title, but there are plenty of other songs here to love. For example, some of the standards like Apres un reve, Les Roses d'Ispahan, Mandoline.
There are also some I heard for the first time and fell in love with, like Les Berceaux, Toujours!, Aurore, and En priere.
If you like the whispy, soft French art songs, you probably won't like this CD. But if you like full-throated singing of French songs, you'll be pleased with this CD.
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Dame Janet is in lovely voice, perfectly suited to these autumnal songs. As usual, her diction and accent are exemplary.
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In this 1988 recital, there's a lack of intensity, a degree of placidity, that makes these songs, for all Baker's fine singing, not as interesting as they should be. One has to make a degree of exception for "La Chanson D'Eve" itself -- this sequence of ten songs , some sung by Eve, some about Eve, seems to explore a rather different expressive language than most of the others. The piano writing is spare and more independent of vocal line and poetic line than in the other songs, and there are tinges of dissonance in the voice/piano relation. It's odd and interesting -- Eve is singing in a paradise without Adam, snake, or sin, and into which a premonition of death comes as something not unwelcome. The effect is haunting. The other songs in the recital seem more straightforward harmonically and expressively, and in their way, they're lovely. I find German song more to my liking, though. And it's interesting to compare Faure's and Berlioz's settings of Gautier's "Ma belle amie est morte." Berlioz's (in "Nuits D'Ete") is the one that chills you. Baker's voice is still lovely in 1988. It's warm in the middle and lower down, and maybe just a touch glassier on top than it used to be, but that could be the recording. Geoffrey Parsons plays very well, and his piano is given nice, clear sound. Recommended to lovers of the art song.
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If you believe there is only one 'authentique' way to sing Faure (selon l'ecole francaise), then you look elsewhere. If you want vocal perfection from an artist approaching the end of her career, do seek alternate choices, including possibly forthcoming renditions for vocal synthesizer.

If you want great interpretive insight, distinctive and beautiful timbre, and deep understanding of late French romantic song -- then try this. You will blessed with vocalization that is beautifully molded, and an interpretation that is memorable, inventive, and completely understanding of the passion that lies just beneath the surface of these apparently 'delicate' melodies.
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