Faure's musical fingerprint is always clear whatever medium he writes for, rather like Janacek or Berlioz he is always unmistakably himself. So it is with this cycle, it is 'quintessential Faure'. La Chanson d'Eve is perhaps one of the first works of his old-age: a time when ornament and colour - once his proud trademark - had been stripped away. The utterances are more severe, the lines of movement and the harmonies themselves more elliptical, and the notes fewer. The vocal writing is essentially expressive recitative, nothing is allowed to inhibit the pure declamation of the words, even the piano writing, which retains a chaste luxuriance, has nothing obviously tuneful to recommend it. The musical language of La Chanson d'Eve does occupy a particularly subtle place in Faure's song output which might at one time have earned it a reputation for obscurity, but surely not enough to perpetuate its relative neglect.
Charlotte de Rothschild, soprano - Adrian Farmer, piano.
"The delicate Roses ardentes (Fiery roses) is a lovely song, sung with fine control, de Rothschild rising to the climax brilliantly. Both artists handle all the little turns of Comme Dieu rayonne (How radiant God is) perfectly before a very fine L'Aube blanche (The white dawn)."
Charlotte de Rothschild seems ideally suited to this repertoire, in the gentler songs providing a particularly lovely French, youthful timbre. Add to this the particularly sensitive accompaniment from Adrian Farmer and you have a disc that will bring much pleasure.
"Charlotte de Rothschild and Adrian Farmer make a musically satisfying musical duo in this CD of rare songs by Gabriel Faure. Beautifully executed, this is music for the drawing room on a summer's evening. La Chanson d'Eve is almost if not unknown and we can thank these two artists for bringing them back this collection of late songs into circulation. The whole disc is a joy to listen to as the recorded sound leaves nothing to be desired. Recorded in the concert hall of NIMBUS whose acoustic properties are just perfect, this a cd for the connoisseur. The sleeve notes written by Adrian Farmer are just what is required to achieve a deeper understanding of this rare music. If this your interest, then buy it!"
May 2014 Amazon Review
Both listener and performer have been so long attached to the songs Faure wrote in the period 1860-1890 that it seems to have prevented us from embracing his later, and far more satisfying, works. Performances of the main work presented here - La Chanson d'Eve - are rarer than hens' teeth. How this twenty-four minute masterpiece has so completely slipped the net is a mystery and a tragedy.
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