Canteloube: Chants d’Auvergne

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COMPOSERS: Canteloube
LABELS: EMI Great Recordings of the Century
WORKS: Chants d’Auvergne
PERFORMER: Victoria de los Angeles (soprano); Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux/Jean-Pierre Jacquillat
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 66978 2 ADD Reissue (1973, 1975)
Canteloube’s exhaustive researches into folksong resulted in settings of material from many parts of France and even farther afield, though the volumes derived from his own region are most widely known. While the arrangements (especially in terms of their orchestral garb) are highly polished, the individuals whose musings on life and love are contained therein are simple folk – shepherds and shepherdesses and rural peasantry. Victoria de los Angeles is strikingly successful at suggesting character, and like Canteloube himself her means are sophisticated. Hers is a voice of many colours, enabling her to bring each song individually alive. This is really the classic recording, and the sound has come up fresh as paint in these remasterings. Those looking for a more recent version might enjoy the slightly smaller selection surveyed by another Spanish soprano, María Bayo (Auvidis), who throws in another Canteloube collection taken from the Basque country. George Hall