Praga Digitals' tribute to
Victoria de los Ángeles -
'De los Ángeles herself is, needless to say, enchanting. The purity, the innocence of the voice, as one can hear here, is simply unique to her.'
One of the merits of this historic disc is that it provides testimony not just to the unique and wondrous voice of the Spanish soprano Victoria de los Ángeles, but also to three of the greatest French conducting figures of the interwar and postwar years.
André Cluytens (1905-67), though born and educated (as his name suggests) in Antwerp, Belgium, and from a highly musical family, became a presiding figure in French music; Charles Munch (1891-1968), before being drawn to concentrate his energies in Boston, made his name conducting in Paris; Georges Prêtre was a familiar figure in the Parisian concert and opera world, holding posts (among others) at the Opéra Comique and later the Paris Opéra.
And although Fauré's Requiem is never short of recordings — this dates from 1962-3 — the three other works, Debussy's La demoiselle élue and two from Ravel, his scintillating Schéhérazade and Cinq mélodies populaires grecques, offer a rich palette of impressionistic perfection: delicate, exquisite, and with the glory of de los Ángeles' sensitive timbres, unerring beauty.
That said, the Fauré under Cluytens is very much a matter of taste...
Copyright © 30 January 2018