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Talking of graceful charms, the ever-fragrant Véronique Gens give us a delicious rendition of Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer, an orchestral setting of two poems with an interlude. Gens’ soprano has a relatively low centre of gravity, and though it is not a particularly creamy instrument it has excellent quality and focus. Like the best performers of song, she sings in a straightforward manner, no with pecking, swooping or breathiness. Her diction is crisp and allow us to enjoy the poetry of Maurice Bouchor. A gem of simplicity and elegance. Gens is aided by Alexandre Bloch’s conducting, which is well-paced and never over-indulgent, yet still seductive. An intelligent and engaging performance, enhanced by its coupling on disc with Chausson’s more Wagnerian Symphonie in B-flat major, Op 20 – he never completed No 2 as he hit a brick wall (literally, while on his bicycle).

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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