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A Verlaine Songbook / Sampson, Middleton


Release Date: 11/18/2016 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 2233   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Claude DebussyPoldowskiMaurice RavelJosef Zygmunt Szulc,   ... 
Performer:  Joseph MiddletonCarolyn Sampson
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 1 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In his poem Art poétique, Paul Verlaine declared that poetry above all should be musical: 'De la musique avant toute chose'. This quality in his work was recognized by composers already during his lifetime, and it is sometimes claimed that Verlaine has been set to music more often than any other poet after him.+ For their Verlaine Songbook, Carolyn Sampson and Joseph Middleton have selected songs by ten composers, including two complete cycles – Fauré's La Bonne Chanson and Debussy's Ariettes oubliées. The 33 songs on the release set a total of 25 texts – several poems by Verlaine have attracted more than one composer, and Clair de lune appears three times, in versions by Debussy, Fauré and Joseph Szulc, while La Read more lune blanche can be heard no less than four, in versions by Fauré, Ernest Chausson, Reynaldo Hahn and Poldowski – the pseudonym of the Belgian-born British composer Régine Wieniawski. Released in 2015 to critical acclaim, Carolyn Sampson's début recital disc, Fleurs (BIS-2102), was a flower-themed anthology with songs by composers ranging from Purcell to Benjamin Britten via Schubert and Debussy. On the present release the repertoire is rather more concentrated in time – all songs were composed during a span of 35 years (c. 1880-1915) – but the variety is nevertheless striking: a reflection of how different artistic temperaments have interpreted the many-facetted Verlaine.

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REVIEW:

Sampson and Middleton concentrate on song cycles, bookending their recitals with Debussy's Fetes galantes and Ariette oubliees, and placing La bonne chanson (Faure) at its center. Paysages tristes, by the d'Indy pupil Deodat de Severac, one of the many discoveries here, forms the disc's unforgettable epilogue.

Both artists are very much at home in this repertory, frequently functioning as an indivisible unit with sound and sense beautifully fused. Sampson is in excellent voice, her tone clear and silvery, her upper registers exquisite. Middleton's playing is marvelously fresh throughout, the thin dividing line between wit and melancholy superbly negotiated.

– Gramophone (12/2016) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Fętes galantes, Set 1 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Joseph Middleton (Piano), Carolyn Sampson ()
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1891; France 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2.
Cythčre, for voice & piano by Poldowski
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1913 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 0 Minutes 53 Secs. 
3.
En sourdine, for voice & piano by Poldowski
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
4.
Colombine, for voice & piano by Poldowski
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 56 Secs. 
5.
L'heure exquise, for voice & piano by Poldowski
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
6.
Mandoline, for voice & piano by Poldowski
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
7.
Sur l'herbe by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; France 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
Claire de Lune, for voice & piano, Op. 83/1 by Josef Zygmunt Szulc
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
9.
Le ciel est par-dessus le toit, for voice & piano by Déodat de Sévérac
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900s 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
10.
La bonne chanson, Op. 61 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892-1894; France 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 18 Minutes 49 Secs. 
11.
Apaisement, for voice & piano, Op. 13/1 (from 4 Mélodies) by Ernest Chausson
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1885 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
12.
Le vent dans la plaine by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1912; France 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
13.
7 Chansons Grises: Tous deux by Reynaldo Hahn
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
14.
7 Chansons Grises: L'heure exquise by Reynaldo Hahn
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 1887-1890 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
15.
Clair de lune, Op. 46 no 2 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; France 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
16.
Colloque Sentimental, for voice & piano by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 18th Century 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 25 Secs. 
17.
Ariettes oubliées by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1885-1888; France 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 14 Minutes 45 Secs. 
18.
Soleils couchants (Paysages tristes) for voice & piano by Déodat de Sévérac
Performer:  Carolyn Sampson (), Joseph Middleton (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 01/2016 
Venue:  Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 

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