For César Franck, the concept of poetic sense went beyond the text of the verse, to the wider themes and subject of the poem. This allowed him to write works of dramatic consequence despite any lack of attention he may have paid to verse structure. This disc comprises 16 of Franck’s songs, with lyrics taken from a variety of poets, and includes the first ever recording of A cette terre où l’on ploie sa tente, with the lyrics taken from Victor Hugo’s poem. The elegance and sensitivity of this work in particular epitomise the French music typical of the era.
The songs are performed by Italian soprano Francesca Scaini, for whom praise has been plentiful in Gramophone for her opera work. Originally training in Venice, she won numerous awards – including the coveted Maria Callas, New Verdi Voices prize – and was prima donna at the Staatsoper in Hannover for five years. Accompanying Scaini is Mattia Ometto, the internationally acclaimed pianist and teacher.
- Contains liner notes on the work and performer biographies (in English and Italian).
- César Franck’s melodic gifts are amply testified by the gorgeous melodies from his Violin Sonata or his Symphony. In music history however Franck is placed as an innovator of musical harmony, his extended and highly chromatic harmonic language bearing the stamp of a true and highly individual genius.
- This CD presents a fine selection of Franck’s songs, a neglected part of his oeuvre. Vintage Franck, they breathe the perfumes and atmosphere of 19th century Parisian salons, elegance, melancholy and pure beauty.