Faure: Cantique de Jean Racine; Messe basse; Maria Mater gratiae; Salve Regina; Ecce fidelis servus; Madrigal; Pleurs d’or; Le ruisseau

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Faure
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Cantique de Jean Racine; Messe basse; Maria Mater gratiae; Salve Regina; Ecce fidelis servus; Madrigal; Pleurs d’or; Le ruisseau
PERFORMER: François-Henri Houbart (organ), Michel Tranchant (piano), Fabrice Pierre (harp); Groupe Vocal de France/John Alldis
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65562 2 DDD (1983)

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It is sometimes tempting to forget that Fauré’s sacred music was not written for a modern English cathedral choir. That may be stating the obvious, but so many recordings of this repertoire have drawn on the ‘pure’ vocal timbres found at this end of the Channel Tunnel that Fauré is in danger of being permanently Anglicised. I had hoped that this disc might redress the balance, but the Groupe Vocal de France, which is stunningly virtuosic in contemporary works, is spectacularly pedestrian in Fauré. The sleepy acoustic fails to mask the occasional disagreement about intonation and the distinctly average performances. Christopher Dingle