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Berlioz: Les Nuits D'été, Ravel: Shéhérazade / Crespin, Ansermet, Et Al


Release Date: 01/09/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 000710802   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Hector BerliozMaurice RavelClaude DebussyFrancis Poulenc
Performer:  Régine CrespinJohn Wustman
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


These performances represent one of the unchallenged peaks in the history of French song on disc. Since the day they were issued in 1963, Régine Crespin's Berlioz and Ravel have set the standard by which all others are measured, and if you've only room in your collection for one version of these pieces, then this is it. Fabulously remastered, the performances have come up sounding like new. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is one of the finest recordings of the human voice ever made. Crespin is perfectly balanced against the orchestra and sounds almost as if she were in your listening room with you--it's that tangible. Nothing stands between you and her incomparable way with the
Read more text of each song. For students of French singing, this disc is a veritable master class! Ernest Ansermet's contribution is as distinguished as Crespin's. He knows the music inside out. The Debussy and Poulenc songs with piano are on the same high level as the two orchestral works. Stunning.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Les nuits d'été, Op. 7 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840-1841; France 
Date of Recording: 09/1963 
Venue:  Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland 
Length: 30 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Language: French 
2. Shéhérazade by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 
Date of Recording: 09/1963 
Venue:  Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland 
Length: 15 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: French 
3. Chansons de Bilitis for Speaker and Chamber Ensemble by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano), John Wustman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1967 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: French 
4. Banalités: no 1, Chanson d'Orkenise by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano), John Wustman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1967 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: French 
5. Banalités: no 2, Hôtel by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano), John Wustman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1967 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: French 
6. La courte paille: no 6, Le carafon by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano), John Wustman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1967 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: French 
7. La courte paille: no 3, La reine de coeur by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano), John Wustman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1967 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: French 
8. Chansons villageoises (6): no 2, Les gars qui vont à la fête by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano), John Wustman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1967 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: French 
9. Poèmes (2) d'Aragon: no 1, C by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano), John Wustman (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1967 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: French 
10. Poèmes (2) d'Aragon: no 2, Fêtes galantes by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  John Wustman (Piano), Régine Crespin (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; France 
Date of Recording: 05/1967 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: French 

Sound Samples

Les nuits d'été, Op.7: 1. Villanelle
Les nuits d'été, Op.7: 2. Le spectre de la rose
Les nuits d'été, Op.7: 3. Sur les lagunes
Les nuits d'été, Op.7: 4. Absence
Les nuits d'été, Op.7: 5. Au cimetière (claire de lune)
Les nuits d'été, Op.7: 6. L'île inconnue
Shéhérazade - Sur des Vers de Tristan Klingsor: 1. Asie
Shéhérazade - Sur des Vers de Tristan Klingsor: 2. La flûte enchantée
Shéhérazade - Sur des Vers de Tristan Klingsor: 3. L'indifférent
Trois chansons de Bilitis: 1. La flûte de Pan
Trois chansons de Bilitis: 2. La chevelure
Trois chansons de Bilitis: 3. Le tombeau des Naïades
Banalités: Chanson d'Orkenise
Banalités: Hôtel
La Courte Paille: 6. Le Carafon
La Courte Paille: 3. La reine de coeur
Chansons villageoises: 2. Les gars qui vont à la fête
Deux Poèmes de Louis Aragon: 1. "C"
Deux Poèmes de Louis Aragon: 2. Fêtes galantes

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 a classic of french songs November 30, 2012 By Jean-Francois T. (Washington, DC) See All My Reviews "The Berlioz/Ravel part of this historic recording has been admired since it appeared in the early 1960s. Crespin in her prime, Ansermet and his orchestra recorded in glorious if a little too reverberent an acoustic atmosphere, which made the singer's diction seem less clear that it was in concert. To appreciate Regine Crespin's great art, you have to listen to the Debussy/Poulenc songs, accompanied by John Wustman' perfect pianism. The winners on this disc are, to my mind Berlioz 'Spectre de la rose' and Poulenc's melodie 'Hotel'. But then, you will be hard put to choose between sa many jewels... One of the great recordings of the 20th century! JFT" Report Abuse
 heavenly November 30, 2012 By Ruth S. (New York, NY) See All My Reviews "Hearing these pieces sung in perfect French is a revelation. Crespin's voice allows the music to float above all the other interpretations that I've heard. Nuits D'ete was so beautiful that I could feel tears building up." Report Abuse
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