Programming in this disc has been guided by what is called Fauré’s ‘3rd
those works published by Hamelle in 1908 that co-ordinate songs
written between 1888 and 1904. Also included are two songs written
in 1906, so we have in all the fruits of eighteen years of composition.
In opus terms this takes us from Op.51 to Op. 87 and adds Opp.92
and 94 - and in terms of Fauré’s stylistic affinities
it falls broadly into his so-called second period. It makes for
good programming and recital sense.
It’s doubtless coincidence that chronological programming
by and large replicates the tremendous set of recordings made
by Souzay, Ameling and Baldwin for French EMI, a set that has
stood, and will continue to stand, as an emblem of French vocalism
of the time, even if Souzay was then somewhat past his best.
In any case Yann Beuron is a tenor so a rather different tonal
and timbral take is to be expected, one that the differing interpretative
stances reinforces. This is in no way a sub-Souzay recital; it
retains perfect independence.
One thing that did concern me however was the balance between
voice and piano in this new set. For the earlier pieces it’s
over-weighted toward the piano, though things do improve. Beuron
and the excellent pianist Billy Eidi in any case prove more dramatic
and powerful than Souzay and Baldwin in Au cimetière
in the case of Spleen
the ardency is spiced by a faster
tempo as well. Beuron has the advantage of lightening his tone
to one of boyish enthusiasm, as he does in La Rose.
many metric and expressive touches that go toward so successful
a recital are apparent here, and reflect splendidly on the two
The Shylock songs are sung with artistry and Gallic grace. Eidi
proves a less ‘tripping’ accompanist than Dalton
Baldwin in Mandoline
from the Op.58 Cinq Mélodies ‘de
but the duo deal justly with the ardent À Clymène.
Fauré turns bleak he does so with powerful insistence. Arpège
possibly the most anguished setting here - bereft in extremis
and Beuron proves an interpreter of suitably anguished expressive
depth. Souzay is the more resigned - a most fruitful divergence
of responses. There are some moments when the nature of the settings
taxes Beiron - he’s a touch discomfited by Soir
instance - but his sensitivity is nowhere in doubt. He proves
more overtly fragile than Souzay in the Op.85 set; the older
man exudes rugged confidence. Sometimes this extra, ultra-sensitivity
can lead to a slight listlessness rhythmically; one feels this
in the two Op.87 songs.
But this is a fine recital; even the recorded balance tightens
up after initially being skewed. The notes are in French and
English; texts are in French only. The partnership between Beuron
and Eidi is well-nigh perfect. Their interpretative decisions
carry weight and conviction. There are other ways of doing things,
but their choices sound convincing as one listens and after,
as one reflects.
see also review by Göran
Forsling (February 2010 Recording of