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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67357
Recording details: July 2001
Champs Hill, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: January 2003
Total duration: 3 minutes 25 seconds

'an admirable recital' (BBC Music Magazine)

'You could not wish for more than Maltman’s intelligent singing and Martineau’s customary sensitivity to every nuance' (Classic FM Magazine)

'The partnership of baritone Christopher Maltman and pianist Malcom Martineau has proved chemically sound in so many memorable live and recorded performances. This new release of Debussy songs for Hyperion is no exception' (The Scotsman)

'On the present disc, Maltman distinguishes himself beyond expectation in the realm of French Mélodie, singing throughout with elegance, conviction, communicativeness, specific attention to the text, and unblemished technical security, all utterly without mannerism, in a varied program spanning 30 years (1880 -1910) of Debussy song … You should go out and buy it right now' (Fanfare, USA)

'this young baritone invests all he touches with equal consideration and the 21 songs in his programme emerge fresh and compelling … a recording of strong focus' (Yorkshire Post)

'Christopher Maltman has already distinguished himself as a lieder singer, but now he reveals himself as a stunningly apt exponent of French mélodies' (Opera News)

'With a singer of Christopher Maltman's quality these songs are presented here about as beautifully as they could be' (Manchester Evening News)

' … the young baritone brings magnificent sturdiness to the music and he is sensitively accompanied by an understanding Martineau. The recording is excellent … we have another Hyperion winner' (Classical.net)

Nuit d'étoiles, L2
composer
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançais
Nuit d’étoiles, dates from 1880 (the date 1876, often quoted, is unsupported by any evidence). Debussy matches Banville’s ‘sereine mélancolie’ with harmonies that move only slowly and not very far, while the vocal line emphasises the 7th, 6th and 3rd notes of the major scale in a way shortly to be exploited by Massenet. Debussy varies the two repeats of the opening refrain by activating the solid piano chords, first with arpeggios, then with a repeated falling three-note figure, but we, as listeners, are never in doubt as to where we are in the song or where it is going. This was Debussy’s first published composition, and the only one of his thirteen songs to poems by Banville that he published.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2003

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