Victoria de Los Angeles, Soprano - Canteloube: Songs of the Auvergne/ Chausson: Poeme de l'amour et de la mer/ The Lamoureux Orchestra, Paris / Jean-Pierre Jacquillat
In the early 1930's, the French soprano Madeleine Grey made a famous recording of some of Joseph Canteloube's arrangements of folk songs from the mountainous French Auvergne region. But it was not until 1973 that this recording of a similar selection by Victoria de los Angeles brought Canteloube's attractive settings, with their colourful orchestrations, to a wider public. The orchestra, in fact, performs more than a merely accompanying role, and it provides introductions, interludes and postludes which call for some virtuoso playing from solo wind instruments. The text of the songs are in a local dialect. In Britain, a brief excerpt from the record was used in a television advertisement, and as a result it became a best seller. De los Angeles herself then recorded more of the arrangements and several other well-known singers have recorded extensive selections. So in 25 years, Canteloube has emerged from obscurity to being quite a noted musician. Chausson's gently flowing, romantic and even sensual Poeme de la'amour et de la mer makes an effective vehicle for the great Spanish soprano's beautiful voice and fine artistry. There are two vocal sections to the work, separated by a short orchestral interlude. In both works, De los Angeles' vivid vocal characterization is strongly supported by the Lamoureux Orchestra under Jean-Pierre Jacquillat, and in Testament's new 180 gram pressing, all the richness, warmth and atmosphere of the original recordings are effectively re-created.