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<<  -- 3 --  David Wilkins    A VOICE TO CHERISH


The Fauré cycle La chanson d'Ève betrays a slight lack of innocence and naivety of communication, and the very 'harboured' piano sound might have benefited from a touch more refulgence. Nevertheless, this is a glorious piece of neglected word-setting that much deserves to be better known. John Steane has written about the difficulty of creating sufficient variety in French song, and that is a problem not entirely overcome here. It's lovely enough, even though it might be lovely for too long in quite the same lovely way. Composer and performers need to share the laurels and the brickbats, I think [listen -- track 17, 1:14-2:36].

It all ends with Messiaen's fantastic hymn of hope -- Résurrection. It's a literal wake-up call to everything that the religious spirit needs to celebrate: 'We have touched him, we have seen him. We have touched him with our hands!' [listen -- track 19, 1:58-3:17].

Alleluia to that, to Dawn Upshaw's carefully planned exposition of something akin to the light that pierces the soul as it emerges from the rose window of a French cathedral, to unusually sensitive accompaniment and, not least, to Michael Steinberg's involved and informative booklet notes. It's a great disc!

Copyright © 2 March 2005 David Wilkins, Eastbourne UK


Dawn Upshaw - Voices of Light

7559-79812-2 Stereo NEW RELEASE 60'00" 2004 Nonesuch Records Inc / WEA International Inc

Dawn Upshaw, soprano; Gilbert Kalish, piano

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992): Le Collier (Poèmes pour Mi); Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Chansons de Bilitis (1897); Messiaen: L'Escalier redit, gestes du soleil (Harawi) (1945); Amour oiseau d'étoile (Harawi) (1945); Osvaldo Golijov (born 1960): Lúa descolorida (1999); Messiaen: Prière exaucée (Poèmes pour Mi); Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): La Chanson d'Ève Op 95 (1906-10); Messiaen: Résurrection (Chants de terre et de ciel) (1938)


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