Free download: Soprano Mary Bevan sings Chabrier
This week's free download comes from a new album of French art song performed by soprano Mary Bevan
This week's free download features soprano Mary Bevan singing the French chanson 'Tes yeux bleus' ('Your blue eyes') by the Romantic composer and pianist Emmanuel Chabrier.
It's taken from a new disc of French art songs by Bevan, with accompaniment from pianist Joseph Middleton, the 12 Ensemble and the Ruisi Quartet.
Alongside the song by Chabrier, perhaps best known for his evocative Spanish-flavoured tone poem España, the disc features songs by Debussy, Duparc, Chabrier, Chausson, Fauré and Ravel. Mary and co. also perform the Sérénades by Franco-Irish composer Augusta Holmès, as well as Benjamin Britten's song cycle Les illuminations, which sets poems by French poet Arthur Rimbaud to music.
'Mary Bevan’s affinity for French song was apparent in her debut CD recital, Voyages,' our reviewer Christopher Dingle reminds us. 'With Visions illuminées, Bevan draws on an additional palette of instrumental colours. Despite the title, much is dark in hue, the music exploring shade amidst the light.
'Rarely heard chamber and ensemble settings by Holmès, Chausson, Chabrier, Duparc and Fauré are supplemented by Robin Holloway’s masterfully idiomatic arrangements of songs by Ravel and Debussy. The aching remembrance of Chabrier’s magical Tes yeux bleus, in the composer’s own beautifully understated arrangement for strings (recorded here for the first time), is worth the price of the disc alone. Bevan and the conductorless 12 Ensemble move as one organism as she glides mesmerisingly over their ebbing and flowing pulse.'
In fact, the disc is full of many such highlights. 'Bevan’s ability to combine warmth with refreshing vigour is to the fore in Chausson’s Chanson perpétuelle and the Debussy songs grouped by Holloway as Quatre mélodies de Verlaine,' Christopher continues. 'Her effervescence in Augusta Holmès’s delectable Sérénades, another first recording, provides a sunny conclusion that perfectly balances the opening luminous nocturne of Fauré’s Clair de lune.'
Visions illuminées is out now on Signum Classics. You can find out more and purchase the album at signumrecords.com/product/visions-illuminees/SIGCD735
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