Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

In the beginning is the night

From November 10, 2011:


Sandrine Piau's new collection of songs on Naive, entitled "Après un rêve", gathers a fascinating group of pieces by a wide range of composers that all share the subjects of dreams, sleeping, and waking. "In the beginning is the night," Piau says in the introductory note included in the uncommonly full and interesting liner notes, "the cradle of our childhood terrors, peopled with creatures as fearsome as they are fascinating..."

With more than capable support from pianist Susan Manoff, Piau is outstanding in the French songs - Faure, Chausson, Poulenc - and more than capable in the three by Richard Strauss. The song set "Galgenlieder" by Vincent Bouchot was new to me, and certainly fit the mood set by the rest of the pieces chosen for this recital. I was especially pleased with the three folk song arrangements of Benjamin Britten which finish the disc. They add a final childish twist to a sometimes spooky and always disorienting hour of music that's beautifully presented.

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