The internationally known soprano Natalie Dessay sings a number of arias from French operas written by the following composers - Delibes, Chabrier, Ravel, Meyerbeer, Bondeville, Thomas, Milhaud, Offenbach, Poulenc, Gounod, & Sauguet. See SwapaCD listing identifying these specific arias. This CD was recorded in 1996. It presents an overview of many of the better known French operatic arias, which will be readily recognizable in most cases.
Dessay Sparkles in Familiar and Rare French Opera Arias
M. Ramos | 05/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Natalie Dessay is, without a doubt, one of the most impressive coloratura sopranos of this century. And there is no better way to experience her voice and artistry than to hear her singing in her native tongue. This CD presents Dessay in a refreshing presentation of arias from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, combining both well known music with some more modern rarities. The recital begins by presenting the soprano in music that fits her like a glove, "Où va la jeune indoue", the Bell Song from Delibes 'Lakmé'. It is a joy to hear Dessay creating a dreamy atmosphere, with full attention to the words and fearless in her attack of stacatti and high notes. She even sings the final high E in a crescendo. This Cd is high note feast, up to a sustained high A flat in "Ombre légère" from Meyerbeer's 'Le Pardon de Ploermel'. However, the stratopheric high notes are only part of the assets of Dessay. She is also willing to concentrate on character, something specially evident in the pieces from more modern operas. In "Arrière! Je réchaufe les bons" from Ravel's 'L'enfant et les sortilèges' her use of portamento makes this Fire commanding and menacing. Another delight is the feminist aria "No Monsieur mon mari" from 'Les Mammelles de Tirésias'by Poulenc she is a dynamo of energy and humor. Her Olympia and Ophélie are in the tradition of the great French coloratura sopranos like Pons, Robin and Mesplé. The CD ends beautifully with a sweet and poetic rendition of "O, amour, mystérieux amour", an unknown jewel from 'Les Caprices de Marianne' by Sauguet. This aria ends the recital in a high note both literally and metaphorically, with Dessay in a spectacular cadenza with pin point stacattos and a stunning high E than begins softly then goes louder until it goes again to pianissimo. The Orchestre Philarmonique de Monte-Carlo conducted by Patrick Fournillier complement Dessay's artistry beautifully. There are no weak point on this recital: these are sixty five minutes of pure joy."
Natalie Dessay is absolutely delicious, but...
M. Ramos | 08/25/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Natalie Dessay is a wonderful French soprano who has a sweeter, purer voice than most such singers of this century (Mady Mesple, for example, who was as wonderful an artist but whose tone was an acquired taste). She also phrases more sensitively than say, Lily Pons or Mado Robin (to whom Dessay is often compared). She has an extensive range (shooting up to top A-flat at the end of the Dinorah aria) and remarkable fluency. She could show more presence here and there (as in the Doll Songs), and her intonation in the opening vocalise of the Bell Song strays a bit sharp, but such matters are prattle compared to her vocal control (the final top E of the Caprices de Marianne aris melts in her mouth). Patrick Fournillier conducts the orchestra in a wormanlike performance."
I can't say enough!
amcdfan1 | TN United States | 08/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Natalie Dessay is the coloratura of our generation! Her voice is extremely impressive. Every album she releases has the vocal fireworks that any music lover wants from their sopranos. This album features some of the world's most beautiful French music. Her "Doll Song" is so fun and full of laughter and of course the high notes. The other highlights for me are Meyerbeer's "Ombre legere" and the "Bell Song" from Lakme. No other coloratura performing today can measure up to the power and strength that Natalie has with those gorgeous notes. She may not warm your heart when down in her mid-range but when she climbs up you can't help but open your mouth and say, now that's a note! Pay close attention to the super high G at the end of "Ombre legere". Wow!"
amcdfan1 | 06/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been a long-time lover of French operas, and of the work of the French coloratura soprano Mady Mesple, I'm delighted to discover the light, bell-clear voice of Natalie Dessay. And although she's great with Mozart as well, I think there is no better use of her voice than in these exquisite French opera arias, many of which cannot be done justice by anyone else I've ever heard who is currently performing. Dessay not only does justice, she brings a fresh and supremely expressive quality to the pieces. The advent of Dessay gives me hope that I will actually get to see a really fine live performance of my favorite opera, Lakme, during my lifetime. Give this one a listen, and be amazed at what the human voice is capable of!"
Nice voice, nicer technique
M. Tietjen | Syracuse, NY, USA | 04/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the finest coloratura sopranos of the opera world today, or any day, Natalie Dessay gives thoughtful and beautiful performances of these arias, some of which are well-known and some of which are not. Her runs, skips, roulades, trills, and everything else are perfectly controlled. Her voice tends to run to the thin side, but I like to think that this gives her a little bit of distinction."