Thursday, 28 December 2017

Sabine Devieilhe

Back in July, I was surprised to enjoy a CD of Véronique Gens singing arias from nineteenth century French operas. Apart from Carmen — said to be the world's most frequently performed opera — French opera gets few headlines, probably understandably so. It does, however, feature some highly attractive individual arias, as re-confirmed by a new CD "Mirages" from the superb French coloratura soprano, Sabine Devieilhe with her fresh, young soprano voice. Léo Delibes provides three of the arias (from his opera Lakmé) with others coming from André Messager, Debussy, Massenet and a few others – including Igor Stravinsky (Le Rossignol). The opera arias (19th and early 20th centuries) are interspersed with some songs with piano accompaniment (Koechlin, Debussy, Berlioz). In a couple of the pieces Devieilhe is augmented by Marianne Crebassa (mezzo) and Jodie Devos (soprano). The efficient little orchestra is conducted by François-Xavier Roth. Altogether a three-star CD of music, singing, playing, and recording. Sabine Devieilhe was already high in my esteem; with this CD she shoots even higher. A disc to keep in my “do not file away, yet” rack, and a lovely musical ending to 2017. Off now to France to eat oysters.

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