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RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR

August

‘Dubois uses a lot of head voice and is miked very closely, so there is a real sense of intimacy that comes through the speakers’

Mark Pullinger celebrates a triumph of French song interpretation in a magisterial survey of Fauré’s complete songs from tenor Cyrille Dubois and pianist Tristan Raës

Fauré Complete Songs Cyrille Dubois ten Tristan Raës pf Aparté (AP284 c • 3h 52’ • T/t)

Here’s a delicious treat that should have all lovers of French mélodies salivating. Complete sets of Gabriel Fauré’s songs are usually shared between singers, focused around a single pianist. Graham Johnson (Hyperion) and Malcolm Martineau (Signum) employ up to nine singers per disc in their respective recordings. Pairs of singers feature too. Martineau set down an earlier collection (CRD) with Sarah Walker and Tom Krause, and perhaps the most famous was Dalton Baldwin’s (EMI) featuring Elly Ameling and Gérard Souzay. Last seen on a Brilliant Classics reissue, it appears to be unavailable, which is simply criminal neglect.

But now, for the first time, all of Fauré’s mélodies have been recorded by a single singer – French tenor Cyrille Dubois with his longtime collaborator Tristan Raës on the Aparté label with the support of Palazzetto Bru Zane. It’s a considerable achievement – 103 songs across three discs – and one senses the dedication and love these artists imbue into these refined performances. Featuring a single voice across nearly four hours of music may affect the way you choose to listen. Recordings featuring multiple singers have the advantage of mixing up the aural palette, varying tone colours, an option not available to the single performer. I found dipping in and out the best way, but the

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rewards were great and this deserves to join the ranks of Ameling and Souzay.

Dubois and Raës have programmed the three discs intelligently. Rather than a chronological survey – as largely done on Baldwin’s set – they have created three ‘recitals’, as it were, mixing early, middle and PHO T O G R A P H Y

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20 GRAMOPHONE GRAMOPHONE RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR 2022

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