Saturday, November 12, 2011

Véronique Gens Presents Third Installment of "Tragédiennes"

(Photo: Ribes & Van Tao/Virgin Classics)
"In her third Tragédiennes album for Virgin Classics, French soprano Véronique Gens continues her exploration of French operatic repertoire. Tragédiennes Vol. 3 covers the late 18th and 19th centuries and with a prime focus on roles for the deeper, darker-toned female voice. Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques join Gens once again in this release. The main emphasis in this recital is on arias written for mezzo soprano. Gens pays tribute to a series of Parisian divas would today probably be classified as mezzo sopranos: Marie-Thérèse Maillard, Cornélie Falcon, Rosina Stoltz and Pauline Viardot. It is evident that Gens can hold her own in such exalted historic company becomes clear from the BBC Music Magazine`s assessment of her last Tragédiennes album: 'Passion, ardor, rage, tenderness - the full gamut of human expression emerges in this selection of works created for French operatic femmes fatales ... Music director Christophe Rousset and soprano Véronique Gens' second disc of musical Tragédiennes is a thrilling mix of the familiar ... and the little known ... The whole makes a wonderful odyssey ... Gens's agile voice is the perfect vehicle to cope with these emotional extremes, from the enchanting to the chilling. She is never afraid to sacrifice pure beauty of sound in favor of rhetorical and dramatic effect, giving due weight to the plights, laments and plangent outpourings of these timeless, tragic heroines. Rousset coaxes some crack playing from Les Talens Lyriques, combining the immediacy and intimacy of chamber music with all the colors and intensity of a largescale symphony orchestra.'" [Source] Listening samples for all three albums in the Tragédiennes series are available after the jump.

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