Sandrine Piau (soprano), David Kadouch (piano) (Alpha Classics)
Songs by L Boulanger, Duparc, Liszt, Schubert, C Schumann and Wolf
Sandrine Piau (soprano), David Kadouch (piano)
Alpha Classics ALPHA911 61:19 mins
This voyage hops the short stretch from Germany to France via a selection of famous and lesser-known songs. Possibly these are the musicians’ favourites – I could see no other thread, nor the ‘new horizons’ mentioned in the album interview. Still, there is much to admire (if not move).
The recital starts with Liszt’s ‘Die Fischerknabe’, its programmatic piano prelude eliciting some beautiful colours. The approach to the Lieder, however, is unsentimental, almost austere. I would have loved more indulgence, more vulnerability, more peeling back of layers in this often-magnificent music and poetry. That said, though Piau takes few risks with colour and time, her sound is always brilliant. Kadouch, too, is strict with tempo but superb with colour. The French songs are more imaginative, from the deep knell which opens ‘L’invitation au voyage’ to the expansive Debussy-Baudelaire settings to songs from Lili Boulanger’s increasingly famous Clairières. Both the solo piano numbers – Clara Schumann’s Scherzo and Lili Boulanger’s Cortège – reveal a different pianist in Kadouch. The Scherzo has depth, elasticity and colour, and ironically is more sung than the actual songs. Cortège, later on, is sparky, witty and rhetorical.