Fauré: Cinq mélodies de Venise; Mirages; La chanson d’Eve; L’horizon chimérique

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COMPOSERS: Faure
LABELS: CRD
WORKS: Cinq mélodies de Venise; Mirages; La chanson d’Eve; L’horizon chimérique
PERFORMER: Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano), Tom Krause (baritone), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 3479

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This volume of Fauré song cycles concludes CRD’s complete survey of the composer’s 105 mélodies. For this reason alone it should be applauded, especially when the only other ‘intégrale’ on EMI has been deleted. That said, it must be admitted that the subtle aromas and delicate flavours of Fauré’s songs do not always benefit from being served in large portions. With the balance provided by a programme made entirely from song cycles, it is safe to indulge in the feast provided by this disc in one sitting. With most of Fauré’s songs being intended for soprano, Sarah Walker has been the mainstay of earlier volumes. The honours are more even here, with Tom Krause singing the composer’s final song cycle, the yearning L’horizon chimérique, and the earlier Mirages, the latter producing a delectably sensitive ‘Reflets dans l’eau’. Walker is sublime in the Verlaine settings of Cinq mélodies de Venise, and wonderfully crystalline in the recital’s main event, La chanson d’Ève. Very occasionally a marginally lighter voice would be welcome, though not if it would be at the expense of Walker’s dreamily velvet reading of ‘En sourdine’. As for Malcolm Martineau, it need only be said that this set is required listening for would-be young accompanists.

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Christopher Dingle