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Bordes: Melodies, Oeuvres Pour Piano / Bou, Marin-degor, Duchable


Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Timpani   Catalog #: 1196   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René DuchableSophie Marin-DegorJean-Sébastien Bou
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BORDES Mélodies . Piano Works Sophie Marin-Degor (sop 1 ); Jean-Sébastien Bou (bar 2 ); François-René Duchable (pn 3 ) TIMPANI 1C1196 (68:47 Text and Translation)


1,3 Le Son du cor. Read more class="SUPER12">1,3 Promenade matinale. 1,3 Paysage vert. 1,3 Épithalame. 1,3 Sur un vieil air. 1,3 La Bonne Chanson. 1,3 Soleils couchants. 1,3 Chanson d’automne. 2,3 L’Heure du berger. 2,3 Promenade sentimentale. 2,3 Spleen. 2,3 Triste, ô triste, était mon âme. 1,3 Colloque sentimentale. 2,3 Ô mes morts tristement nombreux. 2,3 La Ronde des prisonniers. 2,3 Dansons la gigue. 3 Caprice à cinq temps. 3 Quatre Fantaisies rythmiques


Charles Bordes is France’s best kept musical secret, though with this album his delights are secret no more. Bordes is remembered, if at all, as one of the founders, with d’Indy and Guilmant, of the Schola Cantorum which, before it became a teaching institution and rival to the Paris Conservatoire, was a choral society devoted to the revival of Renaissance music. From the mid 1890s neglected works by Palestrina, Victoria, Josquin, Lassus, and many others, were heard for the first time in over a century, not only in Paris but in the provinces and as far afield as Spain. In 1889 Bordes was commissioned by the French ministry of education to research and transcribe Basque music, a salient feature of which is the zortzico, a dance in the time of five, a rhythmic novelty also explored by Alkan and Pierné. All five of Bordes’s piano works employ it to engaging effect. The longest of them, the Caprice, plays five and a half minutes, the others, the Quatre Fantasies rhythmiques , each about half that, or less, which suggests a slightness belied by their pith and charm, tokening the riches frustrated by Bordes’s early death at 46 in 1909. Bordes possessed—or was possessed by—a rich affinity for the poetry of Verlaine. The 16 mélodies on disc are his complete Verlaine trove and amount to half of his total song output. Perhaps Graham Johnson will give us the rest, with the Verlaine settings again, and an in-depth conspectus of Bordes’s career and works, which include a winning Divertissement for trumpet and orchestra, the surefire Rapsodie Basque for piano and orchestra (a little brother, so to speak, to d’Indy’s Symphonie sur un chant montagnard française ), and the Suite Basque in five movements for—flautists take note—flute and string quartet. That is, with this album we’re just beginning to discover Bordes.


A Franck pupil, Bordes responds to Verlaine with engaging melody and a deft harmonic palette—poignant, piquant, but never laid on for its own sake—divining the poet’s landscapes as they mirror memories of the beloved in alternations of joy and melancholy. (Among the latter, La Bonne chanson sets a single poem of the series from which Fauré selected his cycle of the same name.) Few things in the song literature are more beguiling than the brief Sur un vieil air in which a lover’s nostalgia and enchantment mingle as the girl at the piano is overheard playing Martini’s Plaisir d’amour . Songs reflecting Verlaine’s prison experience— Ô mes morts tristement nombreux with a peculiar bittersweetness, La Ronde des prisonniers strutting ironic swagger—register despair in unforgettable ways. Spleen —“I’m tired of holly with varnished leaves. And shivering boxwood too, And the countryside’s infinity, All things, alas, but you”—affords a comedic portrait of amorous distraction, small but deftly, memorably teasing. Why is this appropriately male song given to Marin-Degor? Dansons la gigue , on the other hand, carries one along with its fake jollity until one grasps its bitter undertow of failed love. Bordes’s vocal works, by the way, were collated with the surviving manuscripts and seen through the Rouart-Lerolle press by Pierre de Bréville, also a Franck pupil and another prolific exponent of the mélodie whose voluminous output likewise awaits discovery. Bordes’s trove is as distinctive in its way as Fauré’s Verlaine settings, occasionally striking more deeply, and worthy to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. Sophie Marin-Degor relies perhaps too much on a plucky attack winging the brilliance of her thin bright soprano, while Jean-Sébastien Bou’s pleasant light baritone skates over expressive riches, which make one long for the caressing savvy of the late Gérard Souzay. Either way, the interpreters bring Bordes closer than the single number recorded by Suzanne Danco in 1955 and the six offered by Jean-Paul Fouchécourt in 1996 on INA Mémoire Vive 262024, a fascinating, if sometimes maddening, collection of Verlaine settings. Duchable is hand-in-glove with the soloists and incandescent in the piano works. Timpani has afforded the artists a studio recording and an intimate capture attended by the merest hint of reverb. Taken all in all, here’s something which hit its mark, and will hit yours, too. An hour-plus of fresh fin de siècle opulence. A landmark issue, fetching and indispensable. Highest recommendation.


FANFARE: Adrian Corleonis
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Works on This Recording

1. Caprice a cinq temps by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano)
2. Le son du cor s'afflige vers les bois by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Sophie Marin-Degor (Soprano)
3. Fantaisies Rythmiques (4), Op. 16 by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano)
4. Promenade matinale by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Sophie Marin-Degor (Soprano)
5. Paysage vert by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Sophie Marin-Degor (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
6. Epithalame by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Sophie Marin-Degor (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
7. Sur un vieil air by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
8. La bonne chanson by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Sophie Marin-Degor (Soprano)
9. Paysages tristes by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Sophie Marin-Degor (Soprano), Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Baritone)
10. Spleen by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Sophie Marin-Degor (Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
11. O triste, triste était mon âme by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
12. Colloque Sentimental by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Sophie Marin-Degor (Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1892; France 
13. O mes morts tristement nombreux by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
14. La ronde des prisonniers by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Baritone)
15. Dansons la gigue by Charles Bordes
Performer:  Francois-René Duchable (Piano), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Baritone)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 

Sound Samples

Caprice a cinq temps
Le son du cor s'afflige vers les bois
Promenade matinale
Paysage vert
Epithalame
Sur un vieil air
La bonne chanson
4 Fantaisies Rythmiques, Op. 16: No. 1. -
Paysages tristes: No. 1. Soleils couchants
Paysages tristes: No. 2. Chanson d'automne
Paysages tristes: No. 3. L'heure du berger
Paysages tristes: No. 4. Promenade sentimentale
4 Fantaisies Rythmiques, Op. 16: No. 2. -
Spleen
O triste, triste etait mon ame
Colloque sentimental
4 Fantaisies Rythmiques, Op. 16: No. 3. -
O mes morts tristement nombreux
La ronde des prisonniers
4 Fantaisies Rythmiques, Op. 16: No. 4. -
Dansons la gigue

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