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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: 2 minutes 15 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)

Fleur des blés, L16
First line:
Le long des blés que la brise
composer
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançais
This song testifies to Debussy’s perennial need of money. In 1880 he took on the job of accompanying a singing class held by Mme Moreau-Sainti for what the newspapers of the time dubbed ‘les jeunes filles du meilleur monde’. Not all of them were that ‘jeunes’, including the 28-year-old Mme Emile Deguingand and the 32-year-old Marie Vasnier, both married to husbands a good deal older than themselves. Fleur des blés, which he dedicated to Mme. Deguingand early in 1881, depicts the undulation of the wheat in regular semiquavers and again employs the 7th, 6th and 3rd notes of the scale to good effect. Debussy treats the four stanzas as two groups of two, with the second group being a barely varied version of the first. The tone is contemplative and restful, animated gently by the alternations in the vocal line of duplets and triplets—soon to become a Debussy hallmark.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2003

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