Massenet: Songs with Orchestra / Niquet, Chamber Orchestra of Paris
The Palazzetto Bru Zane label may have outdone itself with this album of orchestral songs by Jules Massenet.
Massenet was not only the composer of the famous operas Manon and Werther. In the shadow of his stage works slumber many songs, mélodies decked out in subtle and delicate orchestrations which we are delighted to revive here. These previously unrecorded works have been entrusted to a team of first-rate artists, most of them fervent champions of French poetry and its musical settings. The purpose of the Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique Romantique françaiseis to favor the rediscovery of the French musical heritage of the years 1780-1920 and obtain international recognition for that repertory. Housed in Venice in a palazzo dating from 1695 specially restored for the purpose, the Palazzetto Bru Zane – Centre de musique Romantique française is a creation of the Fondation Bru. Combining artistic ambition with high scientific standards, the Centre reflects the humanist spirit that guides the actions of that foundation.
The Palazzetto Bru Zane label has done yeoman's work in rediscovering unknown French music from the late Classical through the early modern periods, but the label may have outdone itself with this album of orchestral songs by Jules Massenet. The songs here are all world recorded premieres. One thing that strikes the listener about these songs is their brevity; they are not in the least like little operatic scenes but are fully self-contained. The pieces are of consistently high quality, and it is no wonder that he was able to attract high-profile singers like Véronique Gens and Cyrille Dubois, as well as a host of interesting up-and-comers, to the project. It is also no wonder that this album of completely unknown music hit the best-seller charts in the summer of 2022.
-- AllMusic.com (James Manheim)
Release Date: June 24, 2022
Catalog Number: BZ2004
Label: Bru Zane
Number of Discs: 1
Composer: Jules Massenet
Conductor: Hervé Niquet
Orchestra/Ensemble: Orchestre de Chambre de Paris
Performer: Véronique Gens