ALBUM TITLE: Collection: French Cantatas for Baritone
WORKS: Dom Quichotte; L’automne; Les femmes; Thétis
PERFORMER: Gérard Souzay (baritone)Jean-François Paillard CO/ Jean-François Paillard
CATALOGUE NO: 4509-97416-2 ADD (1970)
Those habituated to ‘historical sensitivity’ in performance are likely to get the vapours from this remastered 1970 recording. All modern instruments replete with full-throated wobble, it’s a blast from the past, but nevertheless well worth the hearing for the superb imagination of the composers involved. Courbois’s Dom Quichotte is a real gem and there is much else to enjoy throughout this collection.
Gérard Souzay sings with all the intelligence to be expected from a distinguished champion of the French Baroque repertoire. Occasionally he seems taxed lower down and the faster passagework is less fluent than we might expect today, but his characterisation and diction are superb. Jan Smaczny