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Vocalise-étude

composer
1906, published by Leduc without opus number, E minor (original key) 4/4 Adagio molto tranquillo

 
This music was written in the shadow of La chanson d’Ève. This is one of ten vocalises-études (in the first volume of a series) that were published under the direction of A L Hettich, singing professor at the Conservatoire. Naturally the vocalise of Fauré, as director of the Conservatoire, is placed at the beginning of the volume which also contains similar exercises by Koechlin, Ropartz, Schmitt and Vierne among others. Fauré’s music is a solemn march with his characteristic mezzo staccato crotchet accompaniment. It is carefully crafted to contain a number of vocal challenges, including the singing of intervals as wide as a tenth, and the pitching of unusual harmonies. This piece tests not only the voice, but also exactitude of rhythm without which no singer should broach a Fauré mélodie. It is a haunting piece of music in its own right that deserves to be better known, but Ravel’s Vocalise en forme de Habañera of the following year (published in Hettich’s second collection) obliterated all competition.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2005

Cette musique, écrite à l’ombre de La chanson d’Ève, est l’une des dix vocalises-études (dans le premier volume d’une série de plusieurs) Publiées sous la direction de A.L. Hettich, professeur de chant au Conservatoire. Tout naturellement, la vocalise de Fauré, alors directeur de cet établissement, figure au début du volume, qui contient aussi des exercices similaires de Koechlin, Ropartz, Schmitt et Vierne, entre autres. Cette marche solennelle, dotée d’un accompagnement en noires mezzo staccato typiquement fauréen, est minutieusement ciselée pour renfermer un certain nombre de défis vocaux, tels des intervalles allant jusqu’à la dixième et des harmonies inhabituelles. Cette pièce teste la voix, mais aussi l’exactitude rythmique sans laquelle aucun chanteur ne devrait aborder les mélodies de Fauré. C’est une musique entêtante, qui mérite d’être mieux connue, mais la Vocalise en forme de Habañera, composée par Ravel l’année suivante, balaya toute compétition.

extrait des notes rédigées par Graham Johnson © 2005
Français: Hypérion

Recordings

Fauré: The Complete Songs, Vol. 4 – Dans un parfum de roses
CDA67336

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