Album: Nora Gubisch, Alain Altinoglu, Ravel: Mélodies (Naïve)

 

Ravel effected an understated formal revolution in vocal music, the pieces performed here by mezzo-soprano Nora Gubisch with pianist Alain Altinoglu being notable for their commitment to textual interpretation rather than sheer operatic grandeur.

Thus, in his “Histoires Naturelles”, the settings reflect Jules Renard’s prose-poem portraits of birds and insects, be it the peacock in “Le Paon”, ; the sleek, stately glide of the swan in “Le Cygne”; or the recurrent piano chirps of the grasshopper in “Le Grillon”, “winding up his tiny watch”. Elsewhere, the international source material in the “Deux Mélodies Hébraiques” and “Cinq Mélodies Populaires Grecques” is harmonised with notable economy.

Download: Le Paon; Le Cygne; Kaddisch

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