Pauline Viardot

Biography

Born: July 18, 1821; Paris, France   Died: May 18, 1910; Paris, France  
One of the most celebrated singers of the nineteenth century, Pauline Viardot was a favorite Meyerbeer heroine, was involved with Berlioz in the Gluck revival, inspired characters in the novels of George Sand and Ivan Turgenev, became an influential voice teacher, and composed many songs and operas of her own.

Daughter of the Spanish voice pedagogue Manuel del Popolo García and sister of the equally famous but short-lived singer Maria
Read more Malibran, Pauline Viardot studied voice with both her parents, composition with Anton Reicha, and piano with, among others, Franz Liszt. When she was 15 her sister died, whereupon Pauline focused her attention on singing. She made her debut the next year, bursting into public life as a three-octave mezzo, and was soon on tour, accompanying herself on the piano in her own songs. Schumann was sufficiently inspired to dedicate his Opus 24 Heine songs to her.

She soon became a fixture of the Théâtre Italien in Paris, specializing in Rossini. She attracted the attention of Berlioz, and eventually appeared in his Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict. In 1840 she married the theater's director, Louis Viardot. The couple toured Europe incessantly, Louis as Pauline's accompanist, and while in St. Petersburg in the mid 1840s she developed an avid interest in Russian music and in Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev. Viardot and Turgenev were rumored to be lovers, with Turgenev perhaps even fathering one of Viardot's children; this remains unproven, but Turgenev did contrive to live near the Viardot family for the rest of his life.

Viardot made a triumphant return to Paris in the 1849 premiere of Meyerbeer's Le Prophète; that opera's role of Fidès became one of her specialties. Ten years later, Berlioz revamped Gluck's Orphée with Viardot in the title role; the singer would also find success in Gluck's Alceste, and for Verdi was an impressive Lady Macbeth.

Viardot retired from the stage in 1863; she, her husband, and children, and Turgenev, moved to Baden-Baden, where she became a much in-demand vocal teacher. She began writing a string of charming little operas with Turgenev librettos and she was the center of attention in the 1870 premiere of Brahms' Alto Rhapsody. Soon after that, Viardot returned permanently to Paris. Through her career she wrote more than 100 songs on texts by leading poets; arranged vocal versions of Chopin mazurkas, and she published a manual that sheds much light on nineteenth century vocal performance practice. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 25 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Luca Buratto: Live At Honens 2015
    Label: Honens   Catalog: 201601 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  György Ligeti,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Luca Buratto,  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  James Campbell,  Hsin-Yun Huang
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  • 2.
    Viardot: Songs / Kancheva, Angelov
    Label: Toccata Classics   Catalog: 303 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pauline Viardot
    Performer:  Ludmil Angelov,  Ina Kancheva,  Christo Tanev
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  • 3.
    Violon Au Feminin
    Label: Skarbo   Catalog: 4150 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Pauline Viardot,  Mélanie Bonis,  Lili Boulanger,  Chrystel Marchand  ... 
    Performer:  Sara Chenal,  Jean-Pierre Ferey
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  • 4.
    Fryderyk Chopin, Pauline Viardot - Amitie Amoureuse
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1148 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pauline Viardot,  Frédéric Chopin,  Luigi Bordèse
    Performer:  Malgorzata Kubala,  Francisco Soriano,  Ryszard Ciesla
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  • 5.
    ...die Seele Lebt Im Liede...
    Label: Fontenay Classics   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pauline Viardot,  Birgit Kiupel
    Performer:  Julia Sukmanova,  Elena Sukmanova
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  • 6.
    Viardot: Melodies
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94615 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pauline Viardot
    Performer:  Marina Comparato,  Elisa Triulzi
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  • 7.
    L'heure Rose / Guilmette
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29141 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wally Karveno,  Augusta Holmès,  Pauline Viardot,  Marguerite Canal  ... 
    Performer:  Hélène Guilmette,  Martin Dubé
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  • 8.
    Violin Lullabies / Pine
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 139 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Vladimir I. Rebikov,  Amy Marcy Beach  ... 
    Performer:  Rachel Barton Pine,  Matthew Hagle
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  • 9.
    Le Rossignol Et La Rose /  Reiss, Spencer
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4104 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Reynaldo Hahn,  Richard Strauss,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Chen Reiss,  Charles Spencer
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  • 10.
    Sonates Francaises
    Label: Anima Records (Classical)   Catalog: 110300002 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marcelle Soulage,  Pierre-Octave Ferroud,  Pauline Viardot
    Performer:  Geneviève Ibanez,  Odile Bourin
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  • 11.
    Chopin: Complete Songs / Olga Pasichnyk, Natalya Pasichnyk
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572499 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Pauline Viardot
    Performer:  Olga Pasichnyk,  Natalya Pasichnyk
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  • 12.
    Schumann: Sammlung Von Musik-stucken Alter Und Neuer Zeit
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777595-2 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Adolf Henselt,  Ignaz Moscheles,  Wilhelm Heinrich Rieffel  ... 
    Performer:  Cord Garben,  Jan Kobow,  Klaus Sticken,  Hans Wilhelm Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Helbich
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  • 13.
    Iwan Turgenjew: Das Lied Der Triumphierenden Liebe
    Label: Ars Musici   Catalog: 232405 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Iwan Turgenjew,  Ernest Chausson,  Gabriel Fauré,  Pauline Viardot
    Performer:  Ulf Schneider,  Stephan Imboden
    CD: $24.99
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  • 14.
    Keep Talking To Me / Katarzyna Dondalska
    Label: Telos   Catalog: 1009 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mieczyslaw Karlowicz,  Pauline Viardot,  Frédéric Chopin,  Stanislaw Moniuszko
    Performer:  Katarzyna Dondalska,  Holger Berndsen
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  • 15.
    La Veillee Imaginaire / Masset, Lazarevitch, Musiciens De St Julian
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 528 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Julien Tiersot,  Traditional,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Performer:  Françoise Masset
    Conductor:  François Lazarevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien
    CD: $18.99
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  • 16.
    Feminissimo! Women Playing Music By Women
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1081 Release Date: 12/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anna Priscilla Risher,  Elisenda Fábregas,  Vítezslava Kaprálová,  Pauline Viardot  ... 
    Performer:  Laura Kobayashi,  Susan Keith Gray
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  • 17.
    Il Salotto Vol 10 - Pauline Viardot And Friends
    Label: Opera Rara   Catalog: 240 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pauline Viardot,  Hector Berlioz,  Frédéric Chopin,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade,  David Harper,  Vladimir Chernov,  Anna Caterina Antonacci  ... 
    CD: $26.99
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  • 18.
    Nicole Cabell - Soprano
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000659002 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Nicole Cabell
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Chopin: Songs;  Chopin/Viardot: Four Mazurkas / Kryger
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55270 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Pauline Viardot
    Performer:  Urszula Kryger,  Charles Spencer
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    CD: $13.99
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  • 20.
    Andree, Viardot, Boulanger, Et Al / Hendel, Warykiewicz
    Label: Zuk Records   Catalog: 324 Release Date: 04/04/2006  
    Composer:  Elfrida Andrée,  Pauline Viardot,  Lili Boulanger,  Jeanne-Louise Farrenc
    Performer:  Karin Hendel,  Ewa Warykiewicz
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    On sale! $24.98
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  • 21.
    Les Must - Compilation Vol 12
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 12 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  André Mathieu,  Christoph Graupner,  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Claudine Ledoux,  Charmian Harvey,  Nils Brown,  Olivier Laquerre  ... 
    Conductor:  Geneviève Soly,  Joseph Rescigno,  Olivier Fortin,  Bruno Weil  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Ensemble des Idées Heureuses,  Campion-Vachon Duo,  Grand Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 22.
    Viardot-Garcia: Songs / Bayrakdarian, Kradjian
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29903 Release Date: 01/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pauline Viardot
    Performer:  Serouj Kradjian,  Isabel Bayrakdarian
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  • 23.
    Prima Voce - Marcella Sembrich
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7901 Release Date: 06/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Traditional,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Pauline Viardot  ... 
    Performer:  Marcella Sembrich,  Frank La Forge,  Darius Lyons,  Emilio de Gogorza  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Rogers
    CD: $14.99
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  • 24.
    Cecilia Bartoli - Live In Italy / Thibaudet, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 455981 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giulio Caccini,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
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  • 25.
    Chant d'Amour / Cecilia Bartoli
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 452667 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Maurice Ravel,  Pauline Viardot,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Myung-Whun Chung
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