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Settings of Verlaine Poetry by Faure, Debussy, Ravel, Szulc, Poldowski, Hahn, et al - "A Verlaine Songbook" - / Carolyn Sampson, Sop.; Joseph Middleton, Pno.

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : Fêtes galantes (3), song cycle for voice & piano, Set I, L. 80
>Poldowski, Irena Regina : Cythère, for voice & piano
>Poldowski, Irena Regina : En sourdine, for voice & piano
>Poldowski, Irena Regina : Colombine, for voice & piano
>Poldowski, Irena Regina : L'heure exquise, for voice & piano
>Poldowski, Irena Regina : Mandoline, for voice & piano
>Ravel, Maurice : Sur l'herbe
>Szulc, Jósef Zygmunt : Clair de lune
>Sévérac, Déodat de : Le ciel est par-dessus le toit, for voice & piano
>Fauré, Gabriel : La bonne chanson, Op. 61
>Chausson, Ernest : Apaisement, for voice & piano, Op. 13/1 (from 4 Mélodies)
>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Le vent dans la plaine, song for voice & piano
>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : 7 Chansons Grises
>Fauré, Gabriel : Clair de lune, Op. 46 no 2
>Bordes, Charles : Colloque Sentimental, for voice & piano
>Debussy, Claude : Ariettes oubliées (6), song cycle for voice & piano, L. 60
>Sévérac, Déodat de : Soleils couchants (Paysages tristes) for voice & piano
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

In his poem Art potique, Paul Verlaine declared that poetry above all should be musical: 'De la musique avant toute chose'. This quality in his work was recognized by composers already during his lifetime, and it is sometimes claimed that Verlaine has been set to music more often than any other poet after him.+ For their Verlaine Songbook, Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton have selected songs by ten composers, including two complete cycles - Faur's La Bonne Chanson and Debussy's Ariettes oublies. The 33 songs on the release set a total of 25 texts - several poems by Verlaine have attracted more than one composer, and Clair de lune appears three times, in versions by Debussy, Faur and Joseph Szulc, while La lune blanche can be heard no less than four, in versions by Faur, Ernest Chausson, Reynaldo Hahn and Poldowski - the pseudonym of the Belgian-born British composer Rgine Wieniawski. Released in 2015 to critical acclaim, Carolyn Sampson's dbut recital disc, Fleurs (BIS-2102), was a flower-themed anthology with songs by composers ranging from Purcell to Benjamin Britten via Schubert and Debussy. On the present release the repertoire is rather more concentrated in time - all songs were composed during a span of 35 years (c. 1880-1915) - but the variety is nevertheless striking: a reflection of how different artistic temperaments have interpreted the many-facetted Verlaine.

The Guardian, 13th November 2016
Sampson adores these songs, caressing the text with her beautiful, pure soprano, particularly those that dwell on the correlation between nature and the emotions. Her partnership with Middleton is inspired, his intelligence always evident.

Gramophone Magazine, December 2016
Sampson is in excellent voice, her tone clear and silvery, her upper registers exquisite: Chausson's 'Apasiement' sends shivers down your spine with its floated high pianissimos and suggestive portamentos... Middleton's playing is marvellously fresh throughout, the thin dividing line between wit and melancholy superbly negotiated.

MusicWeb International, 19th December 2016
A garland of roses to everyone concerned.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Potton Hall, Suffolk, England (01/2016).



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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : Fêtes galantes (3), song cycle for voice & piano, Set I, L. 80
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1891

>Poldowski, Irena Regina : Cythère, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1913

>Poldowski, Irena Regina : En sourdine, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Poldowski, Irena Regina : Colombine, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Poldowski, Irena Regina : L'heure exquise, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral

>Poldowski, Irena Regina : Mandoline, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Ravel, Maurice : Sur l'herbe
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1907

>Szulc, Jósef Zygmunt : Clair de lune
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Sévérac, Déodat de : Le ciel est par-dessus le toit, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1900s

>Fauré, Gabriel : La bonne chanson, Op. 61
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1892-1894

>Chausson, Ernest : Apaisement, for voice & piano, Op. 13/1 (from 4 Mélodies)
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1885

>Saint-Saëns, Camille : Le vent dans la plaine, song for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1912

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : 7 Chansons Grises :: Tous deux
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1887-1890

>Hahn, Reynaldo [Composer] : 7 Chansons Grises :: L'heure exquise
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1887-1890

>Fauré, Gabriel : Clair de lune, Op. 46 no 2
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1887

>Bordes, Charles : Colloque Sentimental, for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 18th Century

>Debussy, Claude : Ariettes oubliées (6), song cycle for voice & piano, L. 60
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1885-1887

>Sévérac, Déodat de : Soleils couchants (Paysages tristes) for voice & piano
  • Performers: Joseph Middleton (Piano); Carolyn Sampson (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic