Magazine article Opera Canada

Chansons Perpetuelles

Magazine article Opera Canada

Chansons Perpetuelles

Article excerpt

CHANSONS PERPETUELLES

LEMIEUX/VIGNOLES

Naive: V5355

Each new recording by French-Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux is cause for celebration. Since her music making is as infectious as her personality, one reaps reward after reward. With this current disc, she reminds us that she is not only an accomplished opera singer and concert artist, she is also a first-class recitalist-one of the best currently making the rounds.

Named after Ernest Chausson's work for voice, piano and string quartet, this CD includes a variety of French melodies, German Lieder and Russian romances-some popular, some more obscure and many tinged with melancholy. "The programme," says Lemieux, "is a wide-ranging journey through late 19th-century Europe, illustrated by songs that I love, that I listen to myself. There isn't a piece in this programme that I don't love. "This is readily apparent.

The disc opens with Trois poemes by Belgian composer Guillaume Lekeu (1870-1894) to his own texts. Best known for his Violin Sonata, a work commissioned by the legendary Belgian violin virtuoso, Eugene Ysaye, Lekeu died just one day after his 24th birthday of typhoid (he apparently ate a tainted dessert). …

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