> EMMANUEL Songs [RB]: Classical Reviews- Aug 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Maurice EMMANUEL (1862-1938)
Odelettes Anacréontiques Op. 13 (1911)
Musiques Op. 17 (1918)
Vocalise-Étude Op. 24 (1926)
In Memoriam Op. 11 (1908)
Florence Katz (sop)
Marie-Catherine Girod (piano)
Lionel Peintre (bar) (In memoriam)
Claude Lefebvre (flute) (Odelettes)
Jean-Marc Phillips (violin) (In memoriam)
Henri Demarquette (cello) (In memoriam)
rec. Théâtre de Poissy, 3/5 July 1995
TIMPANI 1C1030 [56.30]
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The three Odelettes are limpid and liquid. Katz sounds just a little like Janet Baker without the plumminess of accent. The three songs to words by Rémi Belleau and Pierre de Ronsard are for voice with piano and flute. The last song moves away from sun and glowing radiance into opéra-comique lightness. Musiques are to words by Louis de Launay. The trouvère belle époque is here left behind with a greater objectivity insurgent. Where the sun is glimpsed it is an occluded light. The composer's First Symphony followed this half hour cycle and was dedicated to de Launay's aviator son killed in action. The songs are from the collection of poems 'Crépuscule et Nocturnes'.

The Vocalise-Étude has uncannily similarities in the lie of the themes to Nicolai Medtner's Sonata-Vocalise which was recorded by the composer with Margaret Ritchie. I see that this was part of a book of Vocalises -Études published by A.L Hettich for Leduc in 1930. All the composers of the day contributed to the book.

The four songs of In Memoriam are to words by Robert Vallery-Radot. This is for mezzo, baritone (Lionel Peintre) and a trio of flute, violin and cello. The cycle presents a dialogue between a son and his mother who has just died. The style is very individual and unlike any of the other songs here. In Les volets sont fermés the setting seems to refer to Russian Orthodox chant with Peintre called on to sing unaccompanied. Katz returns for the last O mon enfant. Halbreich cross-references this work with contemporary works including Magnard's Quatres Poèmes en Musique, Busoni's Berceuse Élégiaque and Messiaen's very early La Mort du Nombre.

Superb scene-setting notes by Harry Halbreich. Words and translations given side by side - French and English.

Emmanuel's symphonies and Bourguignonne song-cycle with orchestra are on Marco Polo.

This disc is part of Timpani's indispensable ‘La Mélodie Française’ series.

Rob Barnett

Odelettes Anacréontiques Op. 13 (1911)

Au printemps
À la cigale
À la rose

Musiques Op. 17 (1918)
Le vieux coucou
Sous les pins
Invitation à la valse
Villanelle de temps passé
Marche au bonheur
Valse hongroise
Des Mots! des mots!

Vocalise-Étude Op. 24 (1926)
In Memoriam Op. 11 (1908)

1. Ma mère, vous allez mourir ... (voix du fils)
2. cello and piano
3. Les volets sont fermé ... (voix du fils)
4. Ô mon enfant ... (voix de la mère)

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