[Critique] “Jules Massenet”, Chamber Orchestra of Paris

The only bad taste of this publication is the sad mentality leading to believe in the need to sell an anthology of Massenet melodies under the title ” Songs With Orchestra “. But out of 25 tracks, this CD includes 22 melodies with orchestra, including 21 world premieres. Moreover, this CD is the perfect “aperitif” for the great complete Melodies with piano coming to ATMA in November. This collection is all the more lively in that it brings together six voices — Nicole Car, Jodie Devos, Véronique Gens, Chantal Santon Jeffery, Cyrille Dubois and Étienne Dupuis — used wisely, particularly in the distribution of melodies between the four sopranos with subtle specificities. The late 19th century atmospheree century is omnipresent, even if the texts, which mainly celebrate various types of amorous emotions, are not always peaks of poetic art. The orchestral work of Hervé Niquet is all about transparency and judicious reductions. As always with Bru Zane, the record is a model of scholarship.

Jules Massenet

★★★★ 1/2


Paris Chamber Orchestra, Hervé Niquet, Bru Zane BZ 2004

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