Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS(download)

Romances Françaises – French Songs
François-Joseph NADERMAN (1781-1835)
Oscar à Malvina [6:35]
Louis Emmanuel JADIN (1768-1853)
La mort de Werther [3:27]
Chanson [1:51]
François Adrien BOIELDIEU (1775-1834)
Les souvenirs [2:58]
Quinze ans, Myrra [5:38]
Tant douce amie [3:17]
Sophie GAIL (1775-1819)
Bolleros [4:04]
N’est-ce pas d’elle [3:16]
Georges-Joseph-Laurent LAMBERT
La violette [3:54]
Henri ROMAGNESI
Faut l’oublier [4:18]
Je l’aime encor [3:42]
Pierre-Jean GARAT (1764-1823)
L’heure du soir [3:55]
Rose d’amour [3:46]
Joseph-Dominique-Fabry GARAT
Plainte à Hortence [3:26]
Henri DOMNICH
Charmant ruisseau [3:40]
Sylvie Nicephor (soprano); Etsuko Shoji (harp)
Texts in French only; booklet notes in French and English
No recording details given
CALLIOPE CAL1101 [57:48]

Experience Classicsonline


 
Boieldieu will be, I think, the only name from the above list familiar to most collectors. And when did you last hear a work by Boieldieu? The outside of the CD case promises “a fabulous trip throughout the french [sic] classicism of the early 19th century”, a forewarning of the bumpy translation to be found inside. It really is difficult to understand why one still encounters this problem when it would be solved so easily by commissioning the translation from a native English speaker.
 
The romance was a musical genre common in France at the turn of the eighteenth century. It was, typically, a strophic song with an instrumental accompaniment, provided here by a harp of the period. The words might deal with any topic, but unhappy love was common, as was valour in battle; of course, the two might be combined. There is almost always a strong narrative element, in which nature might well feature strongly, and whose characters were often drawn from mythical or historical settings. As for the music, the booklet quotes a text by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in which he insists that the melody exist mainly as a vehicle for the words. It can be pretty; indeed, this is an advantage; but it must be simple, unmannered, with little in the way of ornamentation or ostentatious gesture. A reference to the accompaniment makes it clear that this must be subsidiary to both the words and the melody, in no way drawing attention to itself.
 
From this we can see that anyone purchasing this disc expecting what appears on the cover – French Songs – might well be misled: this is a collection of “romances”, and Rousseau’s description – pretty, simple, naïve – becomes plain immediately and holds good throughout the recital.
 
The soprano Sylvie Nicephor is also active in musical research, and the documentation of the CD appears under her name. For anyone interested in this repertoire, or perhaps in French music of the period, the disc is a very useful tool. But it is not all plain sailing. Sylvie Nicephor has a clear, clean soprano voice, but, on this showing at least, it’s a voice without much character of its own and rather short on variety of colour. That is in part a reflection of the repertoire, but given that there is a certain sameness about these songs, a bit more interpretation, for a modern audience, would have been a good idea. Tuning is not infallible, individual notes sometimes lacking the care necessary to make a whole phrase convincing. The opening of the second song by Gail is a good example of this, as is the opening of the following song by Lambert. And there are one or two points where the vocal technique is simply not up to the job, near the beginning of Plainte à Hortence, for example. Etsuko Shoji plays her Erard harp perfectly well, but she has no opportunity to shine in this repertoire. The recording is fine.
 
As for the music itself, the description above does the job very well. A few clashing semitones evoke Werther’s sad fate in the first of Jadin’s songs, but otherwise there is little to challenge the ear. His second song, Chanson, has a pretty tune that sticks in the mind, but demanding it is not, except technically for the singer. Quinze ans, Myrra by Boildieu is also attractively melodious, but with five verses it rather outstays its welcome. Bolleros, by Sophie Gal, is a rare example, in this collection at least, of a song in the minor key.
 
The singer’s insert notes are interesting and informative, but the English translation is poor, sometimes to the point of obscuring the meaning. All sung texts are given, but in French only, a major disadvantage in some quarters.
 
William Hedley
 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.