Choral Works by Debussy | Milhaud | Poulenc | Jolivet | Messiaen | Aperghis
ArticleNr. SWR19065CD | 1 CD | 70 min | Booklet language englisch
Year recorded2008, 2009, 2016, 2017
SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart
Francis Poulenc: Un soir de neige FP 126
Claude Debussy: Trois chansons de Charles d'Orléans
Darius Milhaud: Naissance de Vénus for mixed choir a cappella
André Jolivet: Epithalame for 12-part vocal orchestra
Francis Poulenc: Quatre petites prières de Saint François d'Assise FP 142
Olivier Messiaen: O Sacrum Convivium
Georges Aperghis: Die Stellung der Zahlen
A unique compilation of French choral works from the 20th century. The SWR Vokalensemble, under its conductor Marcus Creed, is one of the world's best choirs.
This album makes the great French choral tradition available to a broader public.
French intellectuals, especially musicians and writers, were enchanted by the magic of Richard Wagner's music, but they earnestly wanted to pursue new ideas for what might follow. They believed that music and art should be free from “German elements” and they consequently wanted to establish a decidedly contrasting, French style of music. It was for this reason that Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns set up the Societé Nationale de Musique in 1871, tasking it with supporting new French compositions.
Successive composers were fascinated by new developments in the great French music tradition and experimented with modal alternatives and aspects of counterpoint. Compositional clarity was expected to express the simple but poetic relationship between music and text, drawing on graceful melodic lines and a Renaissance-like serenity of expression.
The works on this album achieved this ideal, and many of them are wonderful discoveries.