“It could be said that the young Nadia Boulanger lies in the direct line of succession from Fauré in the solemnity of her composition, the quality of her writing and her harmonic refinement – though generally tauter than with her older master. This is particularly true for the melodies for which she chose the same poets as he did (Verlaine, Samain, Silvestre, Maeterlinck). She also set poems in German by Heinrich Heine.
The ensemble is interesting and varied, with an acute sense of the dramatic or poetic climate, such that these little-known melodies could stand alongside those of Fauré and Chausson in recitals. They are championed by Nicole Cabell, a powerful lyric soprano with perfect diction, the tenor Alek Shrader…and especially Edwin Crossley-Mercer, currently one of the most gifted French baritones, notably in this sort of music. The pieces for cello, organ and piano, apart from the serious “Vers la vie nouvelle,” are less important but always finely written, denoting a great sense of musical culture. The interpreters, particularly pianist Lucy Mauro, are obviously very dedicated.” —Jacques Bonnaure, Classica (June 2017 issue) – Translation by Dennis Adams
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