Gérard Souzay

Composers

Biography

Born: December 8, 1918; Angers, France   Died: August 17, 2004; Cap d'Antibes  
Gérard Souzay, whose real surname was Tisserand, studied philosophy in college although the family was musical (his sister was soprano Geneviève Touraine). He was a student at the Paris Conservatoire from 1940 to 1945, where he studied voice with Vanni Marcoux and Claire Croiza, but principally took master classes with the foremost French song recitalist of that period, Pierre Bernac (Poulenc's longtime companion), as well as Lotte Lehmann before Read more and after WWII. Souzay made his first recording the same year as his professional debut, 1944. After an official Paris debut in 1945, he participated in celebrations of Fauré's centenary in London. By then 27, he was the first of his generation after WWII to give song recitals internationally, preceding his younger colleague Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (b. 1925) by several years.

The French baritone made his U.S. debut in New York City's Town Hall in 1950, but did not sing opera until 1957, at Aix-en-Provence: Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. In 1960 Stokowski invited him to sing the title-role in Monteverdi's Orfeo with the New York City Center (later New York State) Opera. In 1962 he made his first appearance as Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande at Rome under Ernest Ansermet, then repeated the role with the Paris Opéra in a performance celebrating the centenary of Debussy's birth. Eventually he sang at the Met in 1965, as Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, followed that same year by Glyndebourne (although illness limited him to a single performance), as well as debuts with the Vienna Staatsoper and Munich Opera. Other roles included Gluck's Orfeo, Méphistophélès in Berlioz's Damnation of Faust, Pollux in Rameau's Castor et Pollux, Massenet's Garrido in La Navarraise and Lescaut in Manon, even Wolfram in Wagner's Tannhäuser.

However, recitals and orchestral concerts remained the principal focus of Souzay's long and distinguished career, which included annual recitals at the Salzburg Festival between 1959 and 1963. Proficient in 15 languages, he introduced Baroque music before the "original instrument" era -- especially music by Lully, Rameau, Handel, and Bach. He sang German as mellifluously and idiomatically as Fischer-Dieskau, his chief rival (whose intellectual word-stresses became increasingly intrusive), although Souzay's voice was lighter and smaller. His repertory embraced Russian, Spanish, Italian, even British songs. French chansons, withal, were his métier, beginning with Gounod, Fauré and their nineteenth century colleagues, but especially the Impressionist composers -- Duparc, Debussy, Ravel -- and the saucier Poulenc. Beginning in 1954, just as Poulenc partnered with Bernac until his death, Dalton Baldwin was Souzay's pianist, although not exclusively. They built an audience worldwide among audiences that had known only Italian or German opera. His presence onstage was elegantly handsome, and he sang with unforced, but nonetheless expressive, intense artistry that quietened even chronic coughers.

According to a comprehensive discography published in 1990 by Greenwood Press, he recorded over 750 titles on almost 50 labels -- 535 different catalog numbers -- ranging from 78-rpm discs to CD reissues, and was awarded France's Grand Pix du Disque three times. Apart from operas, however, he infrequently recorded with others, only recording duets with Germaine Lubin, Elly Ameling, and his sister Geneviève. In 1985, Souzay joined the music faculty at Indiana University in Bloomington, but also taught at the University of Texas in Austin starting in 1986, where Stephen Mims made a documentary film about him, Souzay: A Life in Art. In addition, indefatigably, he gave master classes at the Juilliard School in New York, and in Paris, Holland, England, and Japan, where he was a special favorite of audiences in German as well as French music. Read less

There are 62 Gérard Souzay recordings available.

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Biography

Born: December 8, 1918; Angers, France   Died: August 17, 2004; Cap d'Antibes  
Gérard Souzay, whose real surname was Tisserand, studied philosophy in college although the family was musical (his sister was soprano Geneviève Touraine). He was a student at the Paris Conservatoire from 1940 to 1945, where he studied voice with Vanni Marcoux and Claire Croiza, but principally took master classes with the foremost French song recitalist of that period, Pierre Bernac (Poulenc's longtime companion), as well as Lotte Lehmann before Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Ravel: 2 Epigrammes de Clément Marot - 1. D'Anne qui me jecta de la neige
Ravel: 2 Epigrammes de Clément Marot - 2. D'Anne jouant de l'espinette
Ravel: Don Quichotte à Dulcinée - 1. Chanson romanesque
Ravel: Don Quichotte à Dulcinée - 2. Chanson épique
Ravel: Don Quichotte à Dulcinée - 3. Chanson à boire
Mandoline
Debussy: Mandoline
Debussy: Mandoline, L. 29
No. 1. Ist alls zu End das Freudenmahl
No. 2. Act Gott, wie graust mir vor dem Tod
No. 3. Ist als wenn eins gerufen hatt
No. 4. So wollt ich ganz zernichtet sein
No. 5. Ja! Ich glaub; solches hat er vollbracht
No. 6. O ewiger Gott! O gottliches Gesicht!
No. 1. Le Reveil de la mariee
No. 2. La-bas, vers l'eglise
No. 3. Quel galant m'est comparable
No. 4. Chanson des cueilleuses de lentisques
No. 5. Tout gai!
No. 2. L'enigme eternelle (The eternal enigma)
No. 1. Kaddisch
En sourdine
Fantoches
Clair de lune
Les ingenus
La faune
Colloque sentimental
Aupres de cette grotte sombre
1. Auprès de cette grotte sombre
2. Crois mon conseil, chère Climène
L'enfance du Christ, Op. 25: Part I: Dans la crèche
Part I: Qui vient?
Part I: Toujours ce rêve!
Part I: Seigneur!
Part I: Les sages de Judée
Part I: La voix dit vrai, seigneur
Part I: Eh bien!
Part I: O mon cher fils
Part I: Joseph! Marie!
Overture
Part II: Il s'en va loin de la terre (L'adieu des bergers à la Sainte Famille)
Part II: Les Pèlerins étant venus
Part III: Depuis trois jours
Part III: Dans cette ville immense
Part III: Entrez, entrez, pauvres hébreux
Part III: Sur vos traits fatigués
L'enfance du Christ, Op. 25: Part III: Trio pour deux flûtes et harpe
Part III: Vous pleurez, jeune mère
Part III: Ce fut ainsi que par un infidèle
Rencontre D'un Jour Op.21 (Charles Grandmougin) : I Rencontre
Rencontre D'un Jour Op.21 (Charles Grandmougin) : II Toujours
Rencontre D'un Jour Op.21 (Charles Grandmougin) : III Adieu
La Bonne Chanson Op.61 (Paul Verlaine) : I Une Sainte En Son Auréole
La Bonne Chanson Op.61 (Paul Verlaine) : II Puisque L'aube Grandit
La Bonne Chanson Op.61 (Paul Verlaine) : III La Lune Blanche Luit Dans Les Bois
La Bonne Chanson Op.61 (Paul Verlaine) : IV J'allais Par Des Chemins Perfides
La Bonne Chanson Op.61 (Paul Verlaine) : V J'ai Presque Peur, En Vérité
La Bonne Chanson Op.61 (Paul Verlaine) : VI Avant Que Tu Ne T'en Ailles
La Bonne Chanson Op.61 (Paul Verlaine) : VII Donc, Ce Sera Par Un Clair Jour D'été
La Bonne Chanson Op.61 (Paul Verlaine) : VIII N'est-Ce Pas ?
La Bonne Chanson Op.61 (Paul Verlaine) : IX L'hiver A Cessé
Mirages Op.113 (Baronne Renée De Brimont) : I Cygne Sur L'eau
Mirages Op.113 (Baronne Renée De Brimont) : II Reflets Dans L'eau
Mirages Op.113 (Baronne Renée De Brimont) : III Jardin Nocturne
Mirages Op.113 (Baronne Renée De Brimont) : IV Danseuse
L'Horizon Chimérique Op.118 (Jean De La Ville De Mirmont) : I La Mer Est Infinie
L'Horizon Chimérique Op.118 (Jean De La Ville De Mirmont) : II Je Me Suis Embarqué
L'Horizon Chimérique Op.118 (Jean De La Ville De Mirmont) : III Diane Séléné
L'Horizon Chimérique Op.118 (Jean De La Ville De Mirmont) : IV Vaisseaux, Nous Vous Aurons Aimés
POULENC: CHANSONS GAILLARDES: LA MAITRESSE VOLAGE
POULENC: CHANSONS GAILLARDES: CHANSON A BOIRE
POULENC: CHANSONS GAILLARDES: MADRIGAL
POULENC: CHANSONS GAILLARDES: INOVACATION AUX PARQUES
POULENC: CHANSONS GAILLARDES: COUPLETS BACHIQUES
POULENC: CHANSONS GAILLARDES: L'OFFRANDE
POULENC: CHANSONS GAILLARDES: LA BELLE JEUNESSE
POULENC: CHANSONS GAILLARDES: VILL SERENADE
POULENC: 4 POEMES DE GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE: L'ANGUILLE
POULENC: 4 POEMES DE GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE: CARTE POSTALE
POULENC: 4 POEMES DE GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE: AVANT LE CINEMA
POULENC: 4 POEMES DE GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE: 1904
POULENC: 5 POEMES DE PAUL ELUARD: PEUT IL SE REPOSER
POULENC: 5 POEMES DE PAUL ELUARD: IL LA PREND DANS SES BRAS
POULENC: 5 POEMES DE PAUL ELUARD: PLUME D'EAU CLAIRE
POULENC: 5 POEMES DE PAUL ELUARD: RODEUSE AU FRONT DE VERRE
POULENC: 5 POEMES DE PAUL ELUARD: AMOUREUSES
POULENC: CHANSONS VILLAGEOISES: CHANSON DU CLAIR TAMIS
POULENC: CHANSONS VILLAGEOISES: LES GARS QUI VONT A LA FETE
POULENC: CHANSONS VILLAGEOISES: C'EST LE JOLI PRINTEMPS
POULENC: CHANSONS VILLAGEOISES: LE MENDIANT
POULENC: CHANSONS VILLAGEOISES: CHANSON DE LA FILLE FRIVOLE
POULENC: CHANSONS VILLAGEOISES: LE RETOUR DU SERGENT
POULENC: METAMORPHOSES: REINE DES MOUETTES
POULENC: METAMORPHOSES: C'EST AINSI QUE TU ES
POULENC: METAMORPHOSES: PAGANINI
POULENC: 3 CHANSONS DE FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA: L'ENFANT MUET
POULENC: 3 CHANSONS DE FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA: ADELINA A LA PROMENADE
POULENC: 3 CHANSONS DE FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA: CHANSON A L'ORANGER SEC
POULENC: PARISIANA: LE JOUEUR DE BUGLE
POULENC: PARISIANA: VOUS N'ECRIVEZ PLUS
POULENC: LE TRAVAIL DU PEINTRE: PABLO PICASSO
POULENC: LE TRAVAIL DU PEINTRE: MARC CHAGALL
POULENC: LE TRAVAIL DU PEINTRE: GEORGES BRAQU
POULENC: LE TRAVAIL DU PEINTRE: JUAN GRIS
POULENC: LE TRAVAIL DU PEINTRE: PAUL KLEE
POULENC: LE TRAVAIL DU PEINTRE: JOAN MIRO
POULENC: LE TRAVAIL DU PEINTRE: JACQUES VILLON


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