Du Bellay: Heureux qui, comme Ulysse
Doulce Mémoire, Denis Raisin Dadre and Kwal
Settings of Du Bellay's poetry interspersed with recitations by the 'slam' poet Kwal and accompanied by instrumental improvisations, make for an atmospheric and immersive experience. Du Bellay may not have been much set to music but nevertheless the roll call includes Gombert, Lassus and, of course, Arcadelt. The whole programme, varied in emotion and texture, begins with Camile Fritsch's light, fresh soprano in Didier Le Blanc's Qui prestera la parole in which she displays exquisite tenderness as she breaths and sways with the verse. Kwal is also intimate to the point of claustrophobic in his recitations, but I love the mesmeric grain his voice. The pairing of instrumental tracks, too, is clever. Arcadelt's Du temps que j'estois amoureux, dripping with wistfulness is followed by an instrumental performance which although not as warm as the recorders on their previous album [RIC392] nonetheless offers an emotional breathing space.
To read the full text of this review please visit www.gramophone.co.uk (Awards 2022)
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