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Douce France - Songs by Hahn, Saint-Saens, Faure, Ravel, Debussy, Loeffler, Legrand et al. / Anne Sofie von Otter, mz; Bengt Forsberg, piano

Audio Samples

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : L'Heure exquise, for voice & piano (no 5 from Chansons grises)
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Le plus beau present, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II")
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Clair de lune, song for voice & piano
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Si vous n'avez rien à me dire
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Vogue, vogue la galere, song for voice & piano
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Quand je fus pris au pavillon, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II" and "Rondels")
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Puisque j'ai mis ma levre, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II")
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Cimetiere de campagne, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book I")
>Fauré, Gabriel : Le secret, Op. 23 no 3
>Ravel, Maurice : D'Anne jouant de l'espinette, song for voice & harpsichord (or piano) (Epigramme de Marot no 2)
>Ravel, Maurice : Ballade de la reine morte d'aimer
>Debussy, Claude : Chansons (3) de Bilitis
>Loeffler, Charles Martin : La cloche felee (The Riven Bell), for voice & piano
>Loeffler, Charles Martin : Serenade (Serenade), for voice & piano
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Danse macabre
>Serf, Monique Andree : Gottingen, song
>Glanzberg, Norbert : Padam, song
>Ferré, Léo : A Saint-Germain-des-Pres
>Serf, Monique Andree : Septembre (Quel joli temps), song
>Lemarque, Francis : A Paris
>Hadjidakis, Manos : Le Facteur, song
>Legrand, Michel : La Chanson des Jumelles
>Legrand, Michel : I Will Say Goodbye (Je vivrai sans toi)
>Kosma, Joseph : Autumn Leaves (Les feuilles mortes), for voice & piano
>Trenet, Charles : Douce France
>Trenet, Charles : Boum
>Ferré, Léo : Le Pont Mirabeau
>Moustaki, Georges : La Carte du tendre, song
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Chanson d'Automne, for voice & piano (no 1 from Chansons grises)
>Guglielmi, Louis : La vie en rose, song
>Trenet, Charles : Que reste-t-il de nos amours?, song
>Lenoir, Jean : Parlez-moi d'amour, song

Album Summary

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : L'Heure exquise, for voice & piano (no 5 from Chansons grises)
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Le plus beau present, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II")
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Clair de lune, song for voice & piano
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Si vous n'avez rien à me dire
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Vogue, vogue la galere, song for voice & piano
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Quand je fus pris au pavillon, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II" and "Rondels")
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Puisque j'ai mis ma levre, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II")
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Cimetiere de campagne, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book I")
>Fauré, Gabriel : Le secret, Op. 23 no 3
>Ravel, Maurice : D'Anne jouant de l'espinette, song for voice & harpsichord (or piano) (Epigramme de Marot no 2)
>Ravel, Maurice : Ballade de la reine morte d'aimer
>Debussy, Claude : Chansons (3) de Bilitis
>Loeffler, Charles Martin : La cloche felee (The Riven Bell), for voice & piano
>Loeffler, Charles Martin : Serenade (Serenade), for voice & piano
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Danse macabre
>Serf, Monique Andree : Gottingen, song
>Glanzberg, Norbert : Padam, song
>Ferré, Léo : A Saint-Germain-des-Pres
>Serf, Monique Andree : Septembre (Quel joli temps), song
>Lemarque, Francis : A Paris
>Hadjidakis, Manos : Le Facteur, song
>Legrand, Michel : La Chanson des Jumelles
>Legrand, Michel : I Will Say Goodbye (Je vivrai sans toi)
>Kosma, Joseph : Autumn Leaves (Les feuilles mortes), for voice & piano
>Trenet, Charles : Douce France
>Trenet, Charles : Boum
>Ferré, Léo : Le Pont Mirabeau
>Moustaki, Georges : La Carte du tendre, song
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Chanson d'Automne, for voice & piano (no 1 from Chansons grises)
>Guglielmi, Louis : La vie en rose, song
>Trenet, Charles : Que reste-t-il de nos amours?, song
>Lenoir, Jean : Parlez-moi d'amour, song
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

American Record Guide, July/August 2014
French songs of the early 20th Century. Anne Sofie von Otter sings as usual, that is, with impeccable artistry. The inclusion of two of Berlin-born American composer Charles Martin Loeffler's pieces is welcome; this is stunning music and I could have listened to it all day. Antoine Tamestit's playing is the perfect accompaniment to Von Otter's warm and direct singing, and her usual partner, Bengt Forsberg, plays with wonderful clarity. A nice addition is the harmonium in Saint-Saens's 'Vogue, vogue la galera', played by Björn Gäfvert.

The Observer, 10th November 2013
Von Otter's voice has a greater mellowness, and just the right hint of huskiness, to conjure the salon atmosphere - think of Proust - of so many of these intimate songs.

BBC Music Magazine, January 2014
A pair of discs to warm any Francophile's heart...Disc one is devoted to an alluring collection of melodies...However, this goes beyond a usual traversal of the genre...[for the second disc] Von Otter has the flexibility to allow darker and breathier hues into her voice.

Gramophone Magazine, February 2014
All listeners, whichever direction they are coming from, should expect a voyage of discovery...Only a singer with von Otter's near-native grasp of the French language and style could bring this off...Against the odds, this two-CD set is a double pleasure.

New York Times, 4th December 2013
Her approach is sometimes a tad lugubrious for my taste, but the songs are irresistible.

International Record Review, March 2014
Her voice may not be in the first flush of youth, but her sung French is so good, and her sense of idiom so secure, that there's a great deal to enjoy here - especially as the songs have been chosen with such obvious care...No doubts-here - assuming the repertoire appeals, this is a joy.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Atlantis Studio, Stockholm (02/2013); Berwaldhallen, Swedish Radio, Stockholm, Sweden (02/2013); Atlantis Studio, Stockholm (05/2013); Berwaldhallen, Swedish Radio, Stockholm, Sweden (05/2013).



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Works Details

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : L'Heure exquise, for voice & piano (no 5 from Chansons grises)
  • Performers: Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Le plus beau présent, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II")
  • Performers: Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Clair de lune, song for voice & piano
  • Performers: Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: circa 1865

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Si vous n'avez rien à me dire
  • Performers: Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1870

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Vogue, vogue la galère, song for voice & piano
  • Performers: Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Bjorn Gafvert (Harmonium)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: circa 1877

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Quand je fus pris au pavillon, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II" and "Rondels")
  • Performers: Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Puisque j'ai mis ma lèvre, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book II")
  • Performers: Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Cimetière de campagne, for voice & piano (from "Melodies, Book I")
  • Performers: Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1893

>Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924) : Le secret, Op. 23 no 3
  • Performers: Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 07/06/1881

>Ravel, Maurice : D'Anne jouant de l'espinette, song for voice & harpsichord (or piano) (Épigramme de Marot no 2)
  • Performers: Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1896

>Ravel, Maurice : Ballade de la reine morte d'aimer
  • Performers: Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1893

>Debussy, Claude : Chansons (3) de Bilitis
  • Performers: Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1897-1898

>Loeffler, Charles Martin : La cloche fêlée (The Riven Bell), for voice & piano
  • Performers: Antoine Tamesit (Viola); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Loeffler, Charles Martin : Sérénade (Serenade), for voice & piano
  • Performers: Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Antoine Tamesit (Viola)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 - 1921) : Danse macabre
  • Performers: Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Antoine Tamesit (Viola); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1872

>Monique Andrée Serf : Göttingen, song
  • Performers: Bengan Janson (Accordion); Anders Jakobsen (Violin); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Bengt Forsberg (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral

>Glanzberg, Norbert : Padam, song
  • Performers: Ulf Forsberg (Violin); Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anders Jakobsen (Violin); Bengan Janson (Accordion); Magnus Wiklund (Trombone); Pär Grebacken (Clarinet); Malin Broman (Viola); Karl Olandersson (Trumpet); Per Ekdahl (Drums); Mats Bersgtrom; Kati Raitinen (Cello); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Léo Ferré (1916 - 1993) : A Saint-Germain-des-Prés
  • Performers: Per Ekdahl (Drums); Mats Bersgtrom; Fabian Fredriksson; Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal

>Monique Andrée Serf : Septembre (Quel joli temps), song
  • Performers: Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Carl Bagge (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Lemarque, Francis : A Paris
  • Performers: Bengan Janson (Accordion); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 13 sec.
  • Form: Vocal

>Hadjidakis, Manos : Le Facteur, song
  • Performers: Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Margareta Bengtson (Harp); Mats Bersgtrom
  • Running Time: 4 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral

>Legrand, Michel : La Chanson des Jumelles
  • Performers: Karl Olandersson (Trumpet); Margareta Bengtson (Harp); Per Ekdahl (Drums); Mats Bersgtrom; Pär Grebacken (Clarinet); Magnus Wiklund (Trombone); Carl Bagge (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Vocal

>Legrand, Michel : I Will Say Goodbye (Je vivrai sans toi)
  • Performers: Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Carl Bagge (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Kosma, Joseph : Autumn Leaves (Les feuilles mortes), for voice & piano
  • Performers: Per Ekdahl (Drums); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Mats Bersgtrom; Magnus Wiklund (Trombone); Carl Bagge (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Charles Trénet (1913 - 2001) : Douce France
  • Performers: Per Ekdahl (Vibraphone); Mats Bersgtrom; Per Ekdahl (Drums); Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Bengan Janson (Accordion)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Charles Trénet (1913 - 2001) : Boum
  • Performers: Pär Grebacken (Clarinet); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Per Ekdahl (Drums); Karl Olandersson (Trumpet); Mats Bersgtrom; Magnus Wiklund (Trombone); Carl Bagge (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Léo Ferré (1916 - 1993) : Le Pont Mirabeau
  • Performers: Bengan Janson (Accordion); Bengt Forsberg (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Anders Jakobsen (Violin)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal

>Moustaki, Georges : La Carte du tendre, song
  • Performers: Per Ekdahl (Drums); Margareta Bengtson (Harp); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Mats Bersgtrom
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : Chanson d'Automne, for voice & piano (no 1 from Chansons grises)
  • Performers: Malin Broman (Viola); Anders Jakobsen (Violin); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Ulf Forsberg (Violin); Kati Raitinen (Cello)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Guglielmi, Louis : La vie en rose, song
  • Performers: Carl Bagge (Piano); Malin Broman (Viola); Margareta Bengtson (Harp); Kati Raitinen (Cello); Anders Jakobsen (Violin); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Ulf Forsberg (Violin); Mats Bersgtrom
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Édith Piaf (1915 - 1963), Louis Louiguy (1916 - 1991).
  • Running Time: 4 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1946

>Charles Trénet (1913 - 2001) : Que reste-t-il de nos amours?, song
  • Performers: Kati Raitinen (Cello); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Carl Bagge (Piano); Malin Broman (Viola); Per Ekdahl (Drums); Mats Bersgtrom; Ulf Forsberg (Violin); Anders Jakobsen (Violin)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Lenoir, Jean : Parlez-moi d'amour, song
  • Performers: Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano); Margareta Bengtson (Harp)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1930