Sunday, 10 December 2017

Marianne Crebassa

I have always loved Maurice Ravel's Shéhérazade and was intrigued to see it included in a new CD recital by the French mezzo, Marianne Crebassa since here it is with a piano, and not the usual subtle orchestra. Does it work? Yes, for me it was a surprising success, helped by the piano accompaniment of Fazil Say. For the second song, la flûte enchantée, a flute is added to the piano; it works well. Ms Crebassa has a most attractive creamy voice; I have always been attracted to French mélodies, and this new CD is right on target although I have never managed to enjoy Debussy's Chansons de Bilitis. And I have never met Gabriel Fauré's four Mirages, though I cannot say I am too surprised at their lack of popularity. The first song, cygne sur l'eau, seems to have some affinities with rap music. Perhaps Mirages is an acquired taste. The three mélodies by Debussy here are more enjoyable, and Henri Duparc, with four mélodies, is always first class.

I cannot remember hearing Ravel's Vocalise en forme de habenera sung (as it should be). It has only appeared (often) in my life in its arrangement for violin and piano, of which I have 29 examples on my shelves. Ms Crebassa sings it well, and Fazil Say's piano is exemplary thoughout this CD. The stars of this CD are, somewhat predictably: Henri Duparc, Maurice Ravel, Marianne Crebassa, Fazil Say, and Erato.

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