The acclaimed American baritone Thomas Hampson lovingly showcases the riches of French salon music for PENTATONE in this irresistible survey of melodies françaises, from the finesse of Gounod and Bizet to the iridescent harmonies of Chausson and Massenet.
Conceived for the intimate environment of the Parisian salon, these composers honed their skills to produce songs which are sophisticated, superbly crafted and laced with drama, irony and surprise. Always a delight, these songs palpably caress the listener with their beautifully contrived melodies and exquisitely refined harmonies, particularly evident in the plaintive, haunting songs of Ernest Chausson and Jules Massenet. Gallic wit and verbal dexterity is provided in the famous Danse Macabre of Camille Saint-Saëns, Emmanuel Chabrier’s Villanelle des petits canards, and the charming Sérénade and Ô ma belle rebelle by Charles Gounod. It’s a fascinating survey brought vividly to life in these compelling performances in pristine multi-channel sound.
Thomas Hampson is one of the today’s most respected and innovative musicians. With a repertoire of more than 80 operatic roles he has a discography comprising over 170 albums (including multiple nominations and winners of the Grammy Award, Edison Award and the Grand Prix du Disque). In this first release for PENTATONE, he is joined by the Polish pianist Maciej Pikulski who combines a busy career as a soloist, chamber music player and accompanist.