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Sandrine Piau – Reflet (24/96 FLAC)

Sandrine Piau - Reflet (24/96 FLAC)
Sandrine Piau – Reflet (24/96 FLAC)


Composer: Hector Berlioz, Benjamin Britten, Claude Achille Debussy, Henri Duparc, Charles Koechlin, Maurice Ravel
Performer: Sandrine Piau
Orchestra: Orchestre Victor Hugo
Conductor: Jean-Francois Verdier
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Alpha
Catalogue: ALPHA1019
Release: 2024
Size: 968 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Berlioz: Le Spectre de la rose (from Les nuits d’été, Op. 7)
02. Duparc: Chanson triste
03. Duparc: L’Invitation au voyage

Koechlin: Poèmes d’Edmond Haraucourt, Op. 7
04. No. 2, Pleine eau

Koechlin: Aux temps des fées, Op. 7
05. No. 4

Koechlin: Épiphanie, Op. 17
06. No. 3

Debussy: Suite bergamasque
07. Clair de lune

Ravel: Trois poemes de Stephane Mallarmé
08. No. 1, Soupir
09. No. 2, Placet futile
10. No. 3, Surgi de la croupe et du bond

Debussy: Epigraphes antiques
11. No. 6, Pour remercier la pluie au matin

Britten: Quatre Chansons Françaises
12. No. 1, Nuits de juin
13. No. 2, Sagesse
14. No. 3, L’enfance
15. No. 4, Chanson d’automne

“Clair Obscur (Alpha 727), dedicated to German lieder with orchestra, explored the antagonism between light and shadow. Reflet conjures up the nuances and transparencies of French melodies. There is in reflection the idea of an echo, the shadow of a disquieting double, of a plural, diffracted sparkle… A clash of deceptive mirages, a kaleidoscope of senses and flashes of light, it interweaves in strange parallels the score of our lives, adorned with gold and illusions”, writes Sandrine Piau. Berlioz, Gauthier, Britten, Hugo, Verlaine, Baudelaire, Duparc, Koechlin, Ravel, Mallarme… the encounters between these composers and poets “create in me a firework display of colours and shimmers”, concludes the French soprano, who is making her 14th recording for Alpha Classics.

In a world of “singles,” pursued even by classical music labels nowadays, here is a whole album that makes up a single, sublime musical utterance. Reflet is a follow-up, similarly concerned with light effects, to soprano Sandrine Piau’s German-language Clair-Obscur of a few years back. The German songs might have been a bigger stretch for Piau than the French material here, but Reflet has possibly an even more sublime coherence. One feels that every note is almost foreordained as the program opens with classic orchestral songs from Berlioz, Henri Duparc, and the less common Charles Koechlin, proceeding into darker, more mysterious realms with Ravel’s Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, and ending with the youthful ebullience of Britten’s Quatre chansons françaises. An illustration of how carefully calibrated everything is here comes with two Debussy pieces, Clair de lune and “Pour remercier la pluie” (from the Six Épigraphes Antiques), arranged for orchestra from other media. These serve as entr’actes between the sections of Piau’s program, and they should by all rights have been annoying: aren’t there enough genuine orchestral pieces that could have filled the bill? But just listen. These fit into the patterns that run through the whole album, and they make perfect sense, just like everything else. Piau’s voice is delicate, soaring, and richly beautiful; one of the miracles of the current scene is its durability and versatility. Her support from conductor Jean-François Verdier, leading the Victor Hugo Orchestra, is confidently smooth, never intruding on the spell Piau weaves. A magnificent orchestral song recital that made classical best-seller lists in early 2024.

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