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Les Nuits D Ete/5 Melodies Pop

David/Nelson;J-Ens Orc Daniels Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 52.03
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Product Details


1. Villanelle
2. Le Spectre De La Rose
3. Sur Les Legunes
4. Absence
5. Au Cimetiere
6. L'Ile Inconnue
7. Les Troyens: Pantomime De L'Acte II - Richard Vieille
8. I - Le Reveil De La Mariee
9. II - La-bas, Vers L'Eglise
10. III - Quel Galant M'est Comparable
11. IV - Chanson Des Cueilleuses De Lentisques
12. V - Tout Gai!
13. Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte - Daniel Catalanotti
14. En Sourdine Op.58 No.2 - Daniel Arrignon
15. Mandoline Op.58 No.1 - Daniel Arrignon
16. Clair De Lune Op.46 No.2 - Daniel Arrignon
17. Elegie Pour Violincelle Et Orchestre En Ut Mineur, Op.24

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bliss - the Marriage of Beauty and Intellect June 3 2004
By Grady Harp TOP 100 REVIEWER
Listening to this recital is an extraordinary experience. Not only is the music refreshingly rethought for countertenor and incredibly well sung by the amazing David Daniels, the overall recording is so well thought out that it surely will become a Grammy contender. But all that hoopla aside, what is contained on this single CD is Daniels' sensitive, sensual, and elegantly sung 'Les Nuits d'ete' of Berlioz, 'Cinq Melodies populaires grecques' by Ravel and Faure's 'Trois Melodies'. It is difficult to vote for the most successful of the three cycles; each has its own beauties and golden moments. Daniels' voice is so inherently Gallic in sound here that you almost forget that his forte is Handel and the bel canto repertoire! There is no hint of strain over the vast vocal range and the words are obviously important to the singer. Though Daniels is usually hailed as a 'divo', here he reassures us that his sense of programming is of the highest order. In collaboration with conductor John Nelson and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris the song cycles are separated by instrumental pieces of the highest quality: Berlioz songs are allowed to breathe during the interval with the Pantomime from Act II of 'Les Troyens', Ravel's songs float away to the strains of his 'Pavane pour une Infante defunte', and the Faure melodies linger though his achingly beautiful 'Elegy for Cello and Orchestra". This recital is sensitive, winsome, elegant, smart, and incredibly beautiful. This is one of those CDs to take on that infamous desert island...... Scores it a 10 star rating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Daniels Will Take Your Breath Away May 10 2004
By A Customer
With his new groundbreaking disc, David Daniels has completely shattered the artificial boundaries of his voice category. This French recording, along with his two amazing recital discs, "Serenade" and "A Quiet Thing," proves that Daniels is simply a great singer, perhaps the best in the world-- not merely the foremost countertenor in history. With flawless technique, uniquely beautiful tone, and incomparable legato phrasing, he sings this music as if it were written for himself. Particularly wonderful are Faure's "En sourdine," Ravel's "The Song of the Lentisk Gatherers," and Berlioz's "Le spectre de la rose" and "Au cimetiere," but it's hard to choose favorite tracks-- everything on this disc will take your breath away.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!!! May 11 2004
By A Customer
DD is obviously an amazing singer! You cant really put him next to any other countertenor that ever sang or will ever sing probibly! His tone is sublime and he has an amazing technique. I dont think Mr. Scholl can ever be able to attempt to sing this music! Les Nuits D'ete sounds fantastic, but my favorite is the 5 Greek songs by Ravel. This disc deserves to be No.1 on the classical chart and should win some kind of an award!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bliss - the Marriage of Beauty and Intellect June 3 2004
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Listening to this recital is an extraordinary experience. Not only is the music refreshingly rethought for countertenor and incredibly well sung by the amazing David Daniels, the overall recording is so well thought out that it surely will become a Grammy contender. But all that hoopla aside, what is contained on this single CD is Daniels' sensitive, sensual, and elegantly sung 'Les Nuits d'ete' of Berlioz, 'Cinq Melodies populaires grecques' by Ravel and Faure's 'Trois Melodies'. It is difficult to vote for the most successful of the three cycles; each has its own beauties and golden moments. Daniels' voice is so inherently Gallic in sound here that you almost forget that his forte is Handel and the bel canto repertoire! There is no hint of strain over the vast vocal range and the words are obviously important to the singer. Though Daniels is usually hailed as a 'divo', here he reassures us that his sense of programming is of the highest order. In collaboration with conductor John Nelson and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris the song cycles are separated by instrumental pieces of the highest quality: Berlioz songs are allowed to breathe during the interval with the Pantomime from Act II of 'Les Troyens', Ravel's songs float away to the strains of his 'Pavane pour une Infante defunte', and the Faure melodies linger though his achingly beautiful 'Elegy for Cello and Orchestra". This recital is sensitive, winsome, elegant, smart, and incredibly beautiful. This is one of those CDs to take on that infamous desert island...... Scores it a 10 star rating.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Beautiful, Breathtaking Recital Aug. 6 2004
By Ed Uyeshima - Published on Amazon.com
The three song cycles on "Berlioz: Les Nuits d'Ete" represent yet another dramatic departure for countertenor David Daniels, as he continues to break new ground with his incredibly rich and flexible voice. He already took a wildly imaginative leap with last year's "A Quiet Thing" (also strongly recommended), but this time, he takes a different direction with a seamless program of mid-to-late 19th century French art songs from Berlioz and Faure and early 20th century Greek folk songs from Ravel.

One could start to take for granted Daniels' immense skill and vocal dexterity if he were to stay within the strict realm of Handel arias and Baroque cantatas...and some of his more myopic, bluenose critics would prefer that. However, he continues to expand the countertenor repertoire in an exciting way without losing his artistic integrity, no small accomplishment considering how he is the one who brought his particular voice type to a whole new audience. Yet one never gets the sense that he is showboating for the masses, rather Daniels stays true to where he sees his own potential for growth as a performer. Adding to that evolution, his voice on this CD has taken on a burnished tonal quality that is less preternaturally gymnastic and more nuanced than his earlier CDs. Evidence of this wondrous evolution can be found on his takes of Berlioz's "La spectre de la rose" and Faure's "En sourdine". By the way, the French pouring out of this South Carolina-born and -bred singer is impeccable.

What is particularly nice about this disc is that it feels like an actual recital complete with long instrumental interludes from conductor John Nelson and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, who provide smooth, melodious transitions between the disparate cycles. Ravel's "Pavane pour une infante defunte" is particularly beautiful. The cumulative effect is dreamlike, haunting and extremely heartfelt. It is hard to imagine that a more beautifully crafted CD could be released this year.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully matched and balanced programme of French music, beautifully sung and played. Feb. 1 2014
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Many devotees of this song cycle favour the recording by Régine Crespin, whereas I find her voice tonally impure and her interpretation rather bland. There, however, a plethora of recommendable versions by Baker, Norman, Von Stade, Hunt Lieberson, Cargill, Graham, Kasarova, Te Kanawa, Steber et al - but these are of course all female interpreters able to encompass, sometimes by transposition, the tessitura of these marvellous songs. Here is something different.

I am not necessarily always a fan of the countertenor in all repertoires but I have loved the sound of Daniels' voice since first I heard it in his Handel recital years ago. The mellow, fluty timbre, the effortless top notes,and the smoothness of the production throughout its range without a hint of squawk or bluster: these are such seductive qualities allied with a supremely sensitive interpretative intelligence. He is my go-to singer if I want to convince anyone of the beauties of this voice category and he eschews the archness or preciousness which some countertenors affect and which make you think of a male singer in drag - fatal, given those comic associations, in music of such emotional profundity. His vocal identity is closest to genuine contraltos like Nathalie Stutzmann: dark and ductile, with perhaps a hint too much vibrato for some tastes but which is not inappropriate for music which is both upper and lower case "romantic”.

Steadiness of line is vital in songs such as "Le spectre de la rose" and "Absence" and Daniels provides it. This, combined with the faintly plaintive quality imparted by conductor John Nelson's eschewing excessive vibrato in the strings, creates the suitably rapt atmosphere the song demands. The climax of "J'arrive du paradis" makes it impact as it should and the shimmering strings of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris sound authentically French (hardly surprisingly), with some astringency in their tone, just as the slightly grainy woodwind avoid sounding too lush.

Daniels' French is excellent and Nelson's phrasing and tempi wholly convincing; in many ways this performance is closest in character to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's with McGegan, especially as both discreetly adopt some HAP practice, but this studio sound here is better than her live version. You may gauge the concentration and sincerity of this recording by watching it on YouTube.

The other items on this disc are more than just fillers or bonuses, insofar as they consist of a substantial amount of extra singing in the four songs by Ravel and the five by Fauré, plus over twenty minutes instrumental playing in the three orchestral pieces; after all, Berlioz's song cycle takes only about half an hour to perform, even though it leaves the impression of something grander and greater with its sweeping, stirring melodic lines in the four central songs sandwiched between the more insouciant outer numbers. The progression from Berlioz to Ravel to Fauré with orchestral interludes makes a lovely French programme, showcasing three very idioms yet with each retaining a special Gallic flavour.

The reliance upon period practice is more noticeable in those instrumental items and it's a subjective question of taste whether you like it played so. They have been selected to put three soloists in the spotlight and the clarinettist Richard Vieille is especially plangent. I especially enjoyed hearing the sensuous “Pavane” here in such luscious sound.

(One little peculiarity; the translation in the last Greek song of “la vieille danse” - “the old woman dances” - as “the crockery dances” presents an odd little riddle – unless the translator misunderstood the word to mean “old crock” as a disrespectful term for an old person.)
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!!! May 11 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
DD is obviously an amazing singer! You cant really put him next to any other countertenor that ever sang or will ever sing probibly! His tone is sublime and he has an amazing technique. I dont think Mr. Scholl can ever be able to attempt to sing this music! Les Nuits D'ete sounds fantastic, but my favorite is the 5 Greek songs by Ravel. This disc deserves to be No.1 on the classical chart and should win some kind of an award!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan May 13 2006
By George Peabody - Published on Amazon.com
DAVID DANIELS IN THE FRENCH GENRE; C'EST MAGNIFIQUE!

The novel idea that a countertenor rendering 'Nuit d'Ete' was suggested by David Daniels and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, and constitutes a first in the work's performance history. Berlioz originally intended it to be sung by either a nezzo-soprano or a tenor with piano. He scored it later for orchestra.

The vocal chracteristics of Daniels; the quality of his countertenor tone and the special texture of his voice reveal this cornerstone of the repertoire in a completely new light.It is so interesting to me that a countertenor voice could make this music (especially the Berlioz) sound so incredibly wonderful. I think it definately has a lot to do with the particular quallity of Daniel's voice. It's very substantial, sometimes on the heavy side, but in this group of French songs he is able to lighten up considerably when the music demands it. I have 2 other recordings of the Berlioz (Les Nuits d'ete) one with a tenor voice and one with a mezzo, but I find myself listening to Daniel's voice and enjoying it a lot more than with the other 2 qualities. He also pulls out of the music so much meaning especially "Le spectre de la rose".

The three instruments featured on this disc are Clarinet (Pavanne pour une infante defunte)by Ravel; cello (Elegie ) by Faure; the oboe is featured in several of the instrumental selections. All of this is superbly done. The orchestral accompaniments as conducted by John Nelson and performed by the Ensemble Orchestral De Paris are superb!!! I think their woodwinds are absolutely excellent. All in all it's a great disc!
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