Ravel: Complete Mélodies

Composer Maurice Ravel
Artist Monica Piccinini soprano
Elisabetta Lombardi mezzo-soprano
Sophie Marilley mezzo-soprano
Christian Immler baritone
Filippo Farinelli piano
Claudia Giottoli flute
Giacomo Menna cello
Ecu Ensemble
Marco Momi conductor
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 94743
EAN code 5028421947433
Release February 2015

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About this release

French composer Maurice Ravel may be well known for his instrumental music, in particular the orchestral work Boléro, but it is his vocal compositions that fully encapsulate the shimmering colours of early‐20th century music. Spanning an important period of Ravel’s career, from 1893 up to 1932, this release is an integral recording of Ravel’s songs, with both piano accompaniment and Ravel’s original scoring for ensemble. Many of the works reveal Ravel’s affinity with other cultures and his penchant for the exotic; from the Chansons madécasses, or ‘Madagascan songs’, to the Spanish‐themed Habanera (a tribute to his part‐Basque heritage) and the Cinq Mélodies populaires grecques, Ravel used the freedom of rarely‐explored cultures to throw off his usual restraint and employ new, exciting harmonies and musical innovations. His use of dissonances comes to the fore in this last work, particularly on the second and seventh notes. At other points, he experimented with bitonality, as in the Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, clearly influenced by Stravinsky and
Schoenberg, which reveal a new penchant for challenging conventional harmony. His careful scoring, however – Ravel saw the orchestration of his music as a task equally as demanding as composition – allows the delicacy of the music to shine through. This album contains all of Ravel’s vocal music, featuring four renowned singers supported by the Ensemble Contemporaneo dell’Umbria. Soprano Monica Piccinini, a major operatic performer who is debuting at La Scala later in 2015, is joined by mezzosopranos Elisabetta Lombardi and Sophie Marilley, both of whom have performed in opera houses across Europe, and German baritone Christian Immler, whose previous CD releases have been awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or and Diapason Découverte.
An important and prestigious new recording: the complete songs (mélodies) by Ravel!
Ravel’s oeuvre is relatively small, and his songs form an essential part of it. Exquisite, refined, exotic, full of colouristic effects and unheard‐of timbres, they are a cornerstone of the 20th century song repertoire.
This new recording contains the complete songs, accompanied by piano or by instrumental ensemble.
Beautiful performances by 4 young singers: Monica Piccinini, Elisabetta Lombardi, Sophie Marilley and tenor Christian Immler. All of these vocalists are enjoying successful careers, singing in prestigious opera houses all over Europe. Christian Immler’s earlier recordings have won the prestigious Diapason d’Or.
Booklet contains extensive liner notes and artist biographies. The sung texts are available on www.brilliantclassics.com.

Other information:
Recorded in Italy in 2013 and 2014

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Ballade de la reine morte d’aimer in D Minor, M. 4
  2. Un grand sommeil noir in C-Sharp Minor, M. 6
  3. Sainte in G Minor, M. 9
  4. Chanson du rouet in E Major, M. 15
  5. Si morne ! in F-Sharp Minor, M. 16
  6. Épigrammes de Clément Marot, M. 21: I. D’Anne qui me jecta de la neige. Très lent in G-Sharp Minor
  7. Épigrammes de Clément Marot, M. 10: II. D’Anne jouant de l’espinette. Très léger et d'un rythme précis in C-Sharp Minor
  8. Manteau de fleurs, M. 39: Modéré in D-Sharp Minor
  9. Shéhérazade, M. 41/1: I. Asie
  10. Shéhérazade, M. 41/2: II. La flûte enchantée
  11. Shéhérazade, M. 41/3: III. L’Indifférent
  12. Cinq mélodies populaires grecques, M.A 9: I. Chanson de la mariée. Modéré in G Minor
  13. Cinq mélodies populaires grecques, M.A. 10: II. Là-bas, vers l’église. Andante G-Sharp Minor
  14. Cinq mélodies populaires grecques, M.A. 4: III. Quel galant m’est comparable. Allegro in G Major
  15. Cinq mélodies populaires grecques, M.A 5: IV. Chanson des cueilleuses de lentisques. Lento in A Major
  16. Cinq mélodies populaires grecques, M.A 11: V. Tout gai!. Allegro in B-Flat Major
  17. Noël des jouets in E Minor-E Major, M. 47: Pas vite
  18. Les grands vents venus d’outremer, M. 48: Modéré, très agité in E-Flat Major
  19. Histoires naturelles, M. 50: I. Le paon. Sans hâte et noblemen in F Major
  20. Histoires naturelles, M. 50: Le grillon. Placide in A Minor
  21. Histoires naturelles, M. 50: Le cygne. Lent in B Major
  22. Histoires naturelles, M. 50: Le martin-pêcheur. On ne peut plus lent in F-Sharp Major
  23. Histoires naturelles, M. 50: La pintade. Assez vite in E Major

Disk 2

  1. Vocalise-étude en forme de habanera, M. 51: I. Presque lent et avec indolence in G Minor
  2. Sur l’herbe, M. 53: I. Modéré in C-Sharp Major
  3. Tripatos, M.A 13: "Mains qui n'ont pas pu le soleil"
  4. Chants populaires, M.A 17/1: I. Chanson espagnole. Andantino in B-Flat Major
  5. Chants populaires, M.A 17/2: II. Chanson française. Allegretto in C Major
  6. Chants populaires, M.A 17/3: III. Chanson italienne. Largamente, quasi piacere, portando le note in E-Flat Major
  7. Chants populaires, M.A 17/4: IV. Chanson hébraïque. Allegro moderato
  8. Chants populaires, M.A 17/5: V.Chanson ecossaise
  9. Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, M. 64/1: I. Soupir. Lent in G Major
  10. Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, M. 64/2: II. Placet futile. Très modéré in F Major
  11. Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, M. 64/3: III. Surgi de la croupe et du bond. Lent in C Major
  12. Deux Mélodies hébraïques, M.A 22/1: Kaddisch. Lent in C Major
  13. Deux Mélodies hébraïques, M.A 22/2: L’Énigme éternelle. Tranquillo in E Major
  14. Trois Chansons, M. 69: I. Nicolette. Allegro moderato in A Minor
  15. Trois Chansons, M. 69: II.Trois beaux oiseaux du Paradis. Moderato in F Minor
  16. Trois Chansons, M. 69: III. Ronde. Allegro in A Major
  17. Ronsard à son âme, M. 75
  18. Chansons madécasses, M. 78: I. Nahandove. Andante quasi allegretto
  19. Chansons madécasses, M. 78: II. Aoua. Andante
  20. Chansons madécasses, M. 78: IIl. Il est doux. Lento
  21. Rêves, M. 79
  22. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, M. 85: I. Chanson Romanesque. Moderato in B-Flat Minor, B-Flat Major
  23. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, M. 85: II. Chanson épique. Molto moderato in F Major
  24. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, M. 85: III. Chanson à boire. Allegro in C Major