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Night Songs / Renée Fleming, Jean-Yves Thibaudet


Release Date: 04/03/2001 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 467697   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei RachmaninovJoseph MarxRichard StraussGabriel Fauré,   ... 
Performer:  Renée FlemingJean-Yves Thibaudet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The performances are gorgeous, the two musicians in complete sympathy with each other and the music, alternately soaring convincingly and whispering tenderly. Gorgeous.

A little night music from two internationally famous soloists. There is no reason why they should automatically hit it off, but they do, and the results are spectacular. Fleming and Thibaudet make a fantastic, and entirely natural partnership. For a start they both have a bit of showbiz about them; a more immaculately dressed couple of musicians would be hard to imagine. But they are both extremely gifted - technically and musically – and furthermore, their gifts and concerns dovetail to make a convincing whole. Both are interested in the infinite little
Read more shadings, the colours that make songs so beautiful, and neither are afraid to strain for the extreme that makes them interesting.

Thibaudet is a fantastic accompanist, or collaborator as Fleming more accurately calls him. He has worked with top quality singers before – recordings with Bartolli and Fassbaender – and understands the art of songs perfectly. His voicing is immaculate, and his sense of balance, both within the piano writing and with the singer is excellent Fleming is at the height of her powers, an artist whose interpretations Strauss are pre-eminent amongst current singers. His music is represented here, almost a calling card, but she has indulged her Francophile tendencies, and also her musicological ones, including some lesser known works by Marx and Rachmaninov.

Indeed, the most enjoyable of the many fine aspects to this disc is that in its beautifully varied selection it captures so many aspects of the night : the tired, the erotic, the warm, the cold, the long, the short. Some are obvious choices, like Fauré’s Clair de Lune, some inspired, like the Marx selection and some tenuous, like the Chansons de Bilitis, but they all combine to make a most beautifully varied dish.

Although the technical performances are stunning, the French songs that open this album seem to me the least successful, although these things are relative. They are a little robust for my cliché-ridden taste, perhaps a little over-wrought at the climax, and her Debussy, whilst admirably free of mist or vagueness, is a little too direct.

Everything else is pure gold however. The Strauss lieder are every bit as good as you imagined they would be. The Rachmaninov songs are deliciously dark. My favourite of all are the four Marx songs. They are well worth discovering, introverted and delicate music of real yearning. The performances are gorgeous, the two musicians in complete sympathy with each other and the music, alternately soaring convincingly and whispering tenderly. Gorgeous.

-- Aidan Twomey, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Songs (12), Op. 21: no 7, How fair this spot by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
2.
Songs (6), Op. 38: no 5, A dream by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916; Russia 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
3.
Songs (12), Op. 14: no 5, These summer nights by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Russia 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
4.
Songs (6), Op. 8: no 1, The waterlily by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 1 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
5.
Songs (6), Op. 4: no 4, Sing not to me, beautiful maiden by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 5 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
6.
Songs (6), Op. 4: no 3, In the silence of the night by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
7.
Nachtgebet by Joseph Marx
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: German 
8.
Selige Nacht by Joseph Marx
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: German 
9.
Lieder aus dem "Pierrot Lunaire": no 2, Pierrot Dandy by Joseph Marx
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: German 
10.
Nocturne by Joseph Marx
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: German 
11.
Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 1, Ruhe, meine Seele by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: German 
12.
Lieder (5), Op. 69: no 5, Schlechtes Wetter by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1918; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: German 
13.
Lieder (5), Op. 39: no 1, Leises Lied by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: German 
14.
Lieder (5), Op. 41: no 5, Leise Lieder by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: German 
15.
Lieder (4), Op. 27: no 2, Cäcilie by Richard Strauss
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Germany 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: German 
16.
Soir, Op. 83 no 2 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; France 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: French 
17.
Après un rêve, Op. 7 no 1 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; France 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: French 
18.
Nell, Op. 18 no 1 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878; France 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: French 
19.
Clair de lune, Op. 46 no 2 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; France 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: French 
20.
Mélodies (5), Op. 58 "de Venise": no 1, Mandoline by Gabriel Fauré
Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano), Renée Fleming (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; France 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: French 
21.
Beau soir by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1880; France 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: French 
22.
Mandoline by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1882; France 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 1 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: French 
23.
Apparition by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1884; France 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 3 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: French 
24.
Chansons de Bilitis for Speaker and Chamber Ensemble by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Renée Fleming (Soprano), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1900; France 
Date of Recording: 2000-01 
Venue:  Hit Factory, New York City 
Length: 8 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: French 

Sound Samples

Clair de lune, Op.46, No.2
5 Mélodies de Venise, Op.58 (Verlaine): 1. Mandoline
Après un rêve
Soir, Op.83, No.2
Nell, Op.18, No.1
Beau Soir
Mandoline
Apparition
Chansons de Bilitis: La Flûte de Pan
Chansons de Bilitis: La Chevelure
Chansons de Bilitis: Le Tombeau des Naiades
Nocturne
Nachtgebet
Selige Nacht
Pierrot Dandy
Ruhe, meine Seele, Op.27, No.1
Schlechtes Wetter, Op.69, No.5
Leises Lied, Op.39, No.1
Leise Lieder, Op.41a, No.5
Caecilie, Op.27, No.2
Zdes' khorosho, Op.21, No.7
V molchani nochi taynoy, Op.4, No.3
The Waterlily, Op.8, No.1
Dreams, Op.38, No.5
These Summer Nights, Op.14, No.5
Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne, Op.4, No.4

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