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Berlioz: Melodies / Pollet, Von Otter, Aler, Garben


Release Date: 01/21/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 435860   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Anne Sofie von OtterGöran SöllscherFrançoise PolletCord Garben,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Berlioz was always deeply affected by poetry—he set poems by obscure writers as well as by friends such as de Vigny, de Musset and Gautier—but thought little of his early songs (which are mostly strophic romances: the Nocturne has a pretty charm). Later in life, however, he gathered together three volumes of his more mature works. Ireland, through its associations with his idolised Harriet Smithson, loomed large in his mind. Some of his songs were incorporated in Benvenuto Cellini and La damnation de Faust; others (such as Sara la baigneuse, La captive, Le chant des Bretons and Le jeune patre Breton) underwent adaptations of various kinds; and several were, to their advantage, orchestrated—Berlioz's piano parts were mostly uninspiring Read more until about 1840, though there are a few exceptions, like the Elegie (one of his finest and most emotional songs, on a prose translation of Thomas Moore). The last-named and La belle voyageuse apart, however, there is little doubt that it is the second of these two discs which shows Berlioz at his best, more imaginative, more enterprising harmonically, freer from the strophic straitjacket and with more independent accompaniments.

A distinguished team of soloists has been assembled for this issue: it was recorded in 1991 and 1993 in no fewer than five different venues, and in some items I have reservations about the accompaniments. Garben is often too loud when the piano doubles the vocal line or has penny-plain repeated chords, and greater care was needed in the Canon at the fifth not to swamp the low-lying underpart; elsewhere he is less obtrusive, though he does not sound in the least harplike in L'origine de la harpe. In the men's duets Aler is rather obviously the lighter of the two voices, but their unanimity is excellent: individually, Allen is sincerity itself in the heartfelt devotion of Je crois en vous, and Aler, though essentially a lyrical singer (admirably so in Le jeune patre Breton), can rise to the intensity of Le maure jaloux, Adieu Bessy and the Elegie (which Berlioz himself categorized as ''immensely difficult to sing and to accompany''). The duetting of the two ladies is beautifully matched (for example, in Sara la baigneuse), with carefully graded dynamics. On her own Pollet, fresh and bright as is her voice, sometimes makes one conscious of the throb in it. But the real star of the discs is von Otter: more exquisite shading of tonal colour (La belle voyageuse), more passion (La captive), more touching sensitivity (La mort d'Ophelie) one could scarcely ask. The discs are worth getting for her alone; but all Berliozians will want the whole set."

- Lionel Salter, Gramophone [7/1994]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Nocturne by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Göran Söllscher (Guitar), Françoise Pollet (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1825-30; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 2 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: French 
2.
Le maure jaloux by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), John Aler (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1818-22; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: French 
3.
Amitié, reprends ton empire by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Françoise Pollet (Soprano),
Thomas Allen (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1818-22; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  St. Konrad Church, Abersee 
Length: 4 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: French 
4.
Canon libre à la quinte by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Françoise Pollet (Soprano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1818-22; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 3 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: French 
5.
Pleure, pauvre Colette by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano), Françoise Pollet (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1818-22; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: French 
6.
Le montagnard exilé by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Françoise Pollet (Soprano), Christine Mühlbach (Harp), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1822-23; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 7 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: French 
7.
Le roi de Thulé, Op. 1 no 6 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Françoise Pollet (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; France 
Date of Recording: 03/1993 
Venue:  Studio 103, Radio France, Paris, France 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: French 
8.
Scènes (8) de Faust, Op. 1: no 8, Sérénade de Méphistophélès by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Göran Söllscher (Guitar), John Aler (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828-1829; France 
Date of Recording: 07/1993 
Venue:  Konzertsaal, Studio Lankwitz, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: French 
9.
Mélodies irlandaises, Op. 2: no 2, Hélène by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Françoise Pollet (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: French 
10.
Mélodies irlandaises, Op. 2: no 3, Chant guerrier by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Thomas Allen (Baritone), John Aler (Tenor), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: French 
11.
Mélodies irlandaises, Op. 2: no 4, La belle voyageuse by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: French 
12.
Mélodies irlandaises, Op. 2: no 5, Chanson à boire by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), John Aler (Tenor), Thomas Allen (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: French 
13.
Mélodies irlandaises, Op. 2: no 7, L'Origine de la harpe by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Françoise Pollet (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 03/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: French 
14.
Mélodies irlandaises, Op. 2: no 8, Adieu, Bessy! by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), John Aler (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: French 
15.
Mélodies irlandaises, Op. 2: no 9, Elégie en prose by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), John Aler (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: French 
16.
La captive, Op. 12 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Torleif Thedéen (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: French 
17.
Sara la baigneuse, Op. 11 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Françoise Pollet (Soprano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834/1850; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 6 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: French 
18.
Je crois en vous by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Thomas Allen (Baritone), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1834; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  St. Konrad Church, Abersee 
Length: 6 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: French 
19.
Chansonette by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), John Aler (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: French 
20.
Le matin, Op. 13 no 1 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1849; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 6 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: French 
21.
Le trébuchet, Op. 13 no 3 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  John Aler (Tenor), Thomas Allen (Baritone), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: French 
22.
Le jeune pâtre breton, Op. 13 no 4 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  John Aler (Tenor), Bernd Schenk (French Horn), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: French 
23.
Le chant des bretons, Op. 13 no 5 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  John Aler (Tenor), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1834; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: French 
24.
Tristia, Op. 18: no 2, La mort d'Ophélie by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1848; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Riksradio, Stockholm 
Length: 8 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: French 
25.
Zaïde, Op. 19 no 1 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Françoise Pollet (Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano), Thomas Lutz (Castanets)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; France 
Date of Recording: 03/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Language: French 
26.
Les champs, Op. 19 no 2 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), John Aler (Tenor)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1834; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1991 
Venue:  Kleiner Kammermusiksaal, SFB, Berlin 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: French 
27.
Prière du matin, Op. 19 no 4 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Françoise Pollet (Soprano), Cord Garben (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1848; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Rikstudio, Stockholm 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: French 
28.
La belle Isabeau, Op. 19 no 5 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1991 
Venue:  Studio 2, Sveriges Rikstudio, Stockholm 
Length: 4 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: French 
29.
Le chasseur danois, Op. 19 no 6 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Cord Garben (Piano), Thomas Allen (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; France 
Date of Recording: 08/1991 
Venue:  St. Konrad Church, Abersee 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: French 

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