Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Jean CRAS (1879-1932)
Paysages (1917): Maritime; Champêtre [12.55]
Danze (1917) [34.26]
Two Impromptus (1925) [10.12]
Jean-Pierre Ferey (piano)
rec 22 Dec 1997, d'Aulnay-sous-Bois.
SKARBO SK 1986 [57.39]

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Jean-Pierre Ferey (who also wrote the notes: French and English) continues the fine work for Cras which he began with earlier releases on the Skarbo label. He is alive to nuance, inclined to brilliance when it is called for and open to grandeur. Taking but one example, listen to him in the second of the two masterly Paysages (i.e Landscapes). In the first he brings out the wave-pattern and swell of the sea on which, as a senior naval officer, Cras made his living.

The Four Dances: Morbida is as marked: fluid and languid and extremely personal in a way never fully achieved in the Intimate Poems (on the other Skarbo disc). It too ascends to the heights of grandeur at 4.23. Scherzosa is marked 'pleasant and lively' and it is all of this: scintillating, cascading and here in the secure hands of a virtuoso. Tenera (tender and loving) is presented with faltering but confident sensitivity. The Animata sings with the sea-swell rather like a more frankly melodic and direct Gallic Medtner or an updated French version of Granados in Goyescas. The 'gear change' at 6.15 is desperately impressive. The Four Dances play for circa 35 minutes and, as the notes speculate, played as a sequence, they could just as easily have been designated a sonata - a sonata swept by an ecstatic singing.

The Two Impromptus: Lent and Animé. These were originally written for harp and are played attacca without a break. Lent swings lazily at the moorings floating amid the oily surface. It rises in rapt tunefulness resolving directly into an Animé that is as bustling and celebratory as the Easter Fair in Petrushka.


Rob Barnett


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