Magazine article Gramophone

'French Songs': Caplet Trois Fables De Jean De la Fontaine

Magazine article Gramophone

'French Songs': Caplet Trois Fables De Jean De la Fontaine

Article excerpt

'French Songs'

Caplet Trois Fables de Jean de la Fontaine. La croix douloureuse. Nuit d'automne. 'Quand reverrai-je, helas! ...' Honegger Six Poemes de Apollinaire. Trois Poemes de Paul Fort Milhaud Les soirees de Petrograde Ravel Chansons madecasses

Simon Wallfisch bar Efrain Oscher fl Raphael Wallfisch vc Edward Rushton vc

Nimbus (F) N15938 (61' * DDD * [T]/[t])

Multitalented Simon Wallfisch is known to many for his appearances as 'The Singing Cellist', though here he joins pianist Edward Rushton for a straightforward recital of French songs composed during the First World War or the following decade. Chansons madecasses is the most familiar work, though the principal attractions lie, perhaps, in some of the lesser-known pieces: Honegger's beautiful settings of Apollinaire; Milhaud's Les soirees de Petrograde, with its withering portraits of Russian-Revolutionary expats in Paris; and a haunting group of Caplet's songs, written at the front while on active service.

Not all of it is ideal. The recording was made in two instalments, in January (Milhaud, Ravel) and April (Caplet, Honegger) 2015, and one notices a pulse creeping into Wallfisch's handsome if grainy tone at the later sessions. …

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