Poemes: Songs by Ravel, Messiaen, Dutilleux / Renée Fleming, soprano

Audio Samples

>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade, poems (3) for soprano (or tenor) & orchestra (or piano)
>Messiaen, Olivier : Poèmes pour Mi
>Dutilleux, Henri : Deux Sonnets de Jean Cassou
>     1. Il n'y avait que des troncs déchirés
>     2. J'ai rêvé que je vous portais entre mes bras
>Dutilleux, Henri : Le Temps l'horloge, song cycle for soprano & orchestra

Album Summary

>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade, poems (3) for soprano (or tenor) & orchestra (or piano)
>Messiaen, Olivier : Poèmes pour Mi
>Dutilleux, Henri : Deux Sonnets de Jean Cassou
>Dutilleux, Henri : Le Temps l'horloge, song cycle for soprano & orchestra
Performer Conductors Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

As the sensual centrepiece of an album of 20th century French vocal masterpieces, Renée Fleming makes her first-ever recording of Ravel's ravishing Shéhérazade. Complementing Shéhérazade is Olivier Messiaen's collection of love songs to his young wife, the Poèmes pour Mi - a tour de force of voluptuous vocalism. A trio of major works is completed by one written for Renée Fleming by the doyen of French composers, Henri Dutilleux - his dramatic Le Temps l'horloge. The album is completed by two earlier songs by Dutilleux, specially-orchestrated for this album and recorded in the presence of the composer.

"In Shéhérazade , she revealed how marvelously her voice is maturing... Fleming seemed to lose both pretense and herself in Ravel’s erotic never-never land" -Los Angeles Times

"[In the Ravel] she revels in the storytelling...her warm, voluptuous tones soaring ecstatically up into the most hedonistic climaxes, and carrying effortlessly over the orchestra even when in her softest lower-tessitura pianissimo....It’s the Dutilleux cycles that work best of all though, nodding as they do to all of Fleming’s vocal and expressive strengths...the vocal lines themselves playing to the warmth and elasticity of her upper register." -BBC Music Magazine

bbc.co.uk - Charlotte Gardner
[In the Ravel] she revels in the storytelling...her warm, voluptuous tones soaring ecstatically up into the most hedonistic climaxes, and carrying effortlessly over the orchestra even when in her softest lower-tessitura pianissimo....It's the Dutilleux cycles that work best of all though, nodding as they do to all of Fleming's vocal and expressive strengths...the vocal lines themselves playing to the warmth and elasticity of her upper register.

The Guardian
RenTe Fleming's latest album reminds us that we pigeonhole her at our peril...Her artistry...can be formidable: she makes ShThTrazade sound faintly indecent; PoFmes pour Mi taxes her a bit, but is suitably ecstatic. But it's in the Dutilleux that we find her at her considerable best. It's worth acquiring just for that.

The Independent
Fleming claims that singing in French suits her voice naturally, which is clear on this album...Her involvement with the intoxications of Ravel's ShThTrazade is obvious, the journey into this "forest filled with mystery" navigated with an enchantment little short of thrilling. Messiaen's PoFmes Pour Mi proves the perfect partner for ShThTrazade.

Sunday Times
Given that Fleming celebrated 50 years in 2009...the state of her voice is cause for wonderment. The plush, peachy tone, her trademark, sounds unimpaired by the years...The American soprano justifiably revels in the sound of her own voice. If there have been more Gallic ShThTrazades on disc, none is more beautifully sung.

The Arts Desk
Fleming's immaculate French diction is an asset, and Dutilleux's luminous orchestral colours gleam under Seiji Ozawa's direction. No effect is overplayed...Good to see that a major label is still willing to promote high-quality, offbeat repertoire - snap this disc up before it gets deleted.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
Singer and orchestra seem to share a single perfect idea of each work, and the flawless communication between Fleming and Ozawa is especially striking in Dutilleux's 'Temps Horloge'. The piece, written for Fleming, was recorded in concert; this is its world premiere recording. It is complex, many-layered, ecstatic and desperate, in a sound-world all its own. The performance is breathtaking. Don't miss it.



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Works Details

>Ravel, Maurice : Shéhérazade, poems (3) for soprano (or tenor) & orchestra (or piano)
  • Performer: Renée Fleming (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Gilbert
  • Ensemble: French National Radio Orchestra
  • Notes: Salle Liebermann, L'Opéra National de Paris (07/06/2011-07/10/2011)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1903

>Messiaen, Olivier : Poèmes pour Mi
  • Performer: Renée Fleming (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Gilbert
  • Ensemble: French National Radio Orchestra
  • Notes: Salle Liebermann, L'Opéra National de Paris (07/06/2011-07/10/2011)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1936-1937

>Dutilleux, Henri : Deux Sonnets de Jean Cassou :: 1. Il n'y avait que des troncs déchirés
  • Performer: Renée Fleming (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Gilbert
  • Notes: Salle Liebermann, L'Opéra National de Paris (07/06/2011-07/10/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944-1954

>Dutilleux, Henri : Deux Sonnets de Jean Cassou :: 2. J'ai rêvé que je vous portais entre mes bras
  • Performer: Renée Fleming (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Alan Gilbert
  • Notes: Salle Liebermann, L'Opéra National de Paris (07/06/2011-07/10/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944-1954

>Dutilleux, Henri : Le Temps l'horloge, song cycle for soprano & orchestra
  • Performer: Renée Fleming (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
  • Running Time: 13 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 2006-2009
  • Studio/Live: Live