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The Hyperion French Song Edition

Ernest Chausson (1855-1899)

Songs

Graham Johnson (piano)
2CDs
Recording details: Various dates
Various recording venues
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: March 2001
Total duration: 126 minutes 33 seconds
 
CD1
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CD2
23
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Ernest Chausson's music has always seemed, to those who love it, a 'special case'. So ready are French-song enthusiasts to praise and celebrate Duparc and Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, that the quiet, self-effacing man hiding behind a beard is all too easily overlooked.

These two compact discs contain all of Chausson's published solo songs (and two duets) for voice and piano, as well as the Chanson perpétuelle with string quartet. Also included are several unpublished songs transcribed from manuscript sources in the Bibliothèque Nationale. There are 43 songs altogether, several receiving their first recording. Dame Felicity Lott and Ann Murray need no introduction but the disc also represents the recording debut of baritone Chris Pedro Trakas who has won many plaudits for his concerts and operatic work in his native America.

Reviews

'Up to Hyperion's habitual high standard' (Gramophone)

'Felicity Lott…is radiant and unhurried and the pick of an excellent crop of singers' (BBC Music Magazine)

'With this disc, the music of Chausson really does find revelatory new significance' (The Times)

'Superb. Art is long, life is short, and this offering is very, very rich' (Fanfare, USA)

'This is Hyperion at its best, presenting sensuous, exquisite performances … Dames Felicity Lott and Ann Murray generate magical artistry' (Music Week)

'Unlikely to be bettered' (MusicWeb International)

'To have the complete collection gathered together on disc is a treat, and with artists like these, the performances are about as good as you could expect this side of the pearly gates … If a reason for a reassessment of Chausson's role as a writer of mélodie is needed, this marvellous set is overwhelmingly it' (Amazon.co.uk)

'Editor, musicologist, impresario and pianist Graham Johnson gives us a jewel-box of essays, poems, time-lines, artwork, and Chausson's complete songs. And the performances are as magical and eloquent as the program book' (Opera News)

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