Songs of the Auvergne

Kent Nagano & Dawn Upshaw
Songs of the Auvergne - Chants d'Auvergne



1. Pastourelle (E passo dé dossaï; Ah! viens près de moi), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 5)
2. Oï Ayaï (Oh! yayaï), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 2)
3. Obal, din lo Coumbèlo (Au loin, là-bas dans la vallée), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 5, No. 1)
4. Postouro, sé tu m'aymo (Bergère, si tu m'aimes), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 5, No. 5)
5. Uno jionto Postouro (Une jolie bergère; Regret), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 5, No. 7)
6. Lou Coucut (Le coucou), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 6)
7. Jou l'Pount D'o Mirabel (Au pont de Mirabel), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 1)
8. Chut, Chut, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 4)
9. Baïlero, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 5)
10. Lo Fiolairé (La fileuse), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 1)
11. La Delaissado (La délaissée), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 2, No. 4)
12. Tè, l'Co, Tè! (Va l'chien, va!), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 5, No. 6)
13. Passo pel prat (Viens par le pré), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 2)
14. Lou Boussu (Le bossu), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 3)
15. Brezairola (Berceuse), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 4)


Dawn Upshaw: Soprano
Performed by Orchestre De L'Opera De Lyon
Conducted by Kent Nagano

Dawn Upshaw's voice has that innocent wondering vulnerability all too little known amongst the knowing and blowsy ranks of the majority of operatic divas. Upshaw's approach is a shade more mature than Davrath (my first recommendation - on Vanguard - despite its saturated sound colours). She has an alto accentuation and a darker tincture than Davrath's demoiselle tone. This is well illustrated by a comparison of Upshaw and Davrath in L'Aïo dè rotso in which Upshaw’s warm lower register has the benefit of outstanding orchestral playing. Superb shepherd fifing from the Lyon woodwind principals - seething with eccentric character. The same qualities light up the playing in Ound'onouren Gorda? and the various Bourrées. There is some astoundingly sensitive clarinet playing in N'aï pas iéu de mio.

    I have not compared times but Upshaw leans towards very slow tempi in the andante songs (of which there are many). The classic Baïlèro is sweetly handled. The effect is enhanced by Upshaw's voice switching from left to right channel to mimic the bergère hillside dialogue patent in the sung words.

    Upshaw can still show a pretty pair of heels for example in Chut Chut where the smile in her voice is unmistakable as also in superb Hé Beyla-z-y dau fé with its spirited donkey bray and real kick. The summer ooze rather moderates the effect in the dog-calls of Tè l'Co tè and in the sprightly Obal dins lou Limouzi (superbly rustic drum sounds here) but she serves us well in Brezairola and Per l'èfon - both lullabies. Davrath however manages the fonder ardent smile of the child mother.

    Nagano's orchestra is presented in a more spread soundstage unlike the irresistibly unnatural close-up adopted by Vanguard for Davrath. The sound is clear and unassertive; prepossessing but without the high candle power of the Davrath Vanguard set.

    When will we get all the other regional sets, I wonder. Bayo and Leroux gave us the Basque Songs (Naïve and Gallo) but there are shelves full of his other arrangements!


    This is a good set, very well recorded and with the merit of Dawn Upshaw's voice a central attraction. Will be preferred by those who like a leisurely Delian approach to their Canteloube songs.

   Rob Barnett


regules said...

Magnifico! excelente voz y arreglos, desconocidos para mi, gracias

Miguel said...

Glad you like it regules!

Somehow I like them all :)

Véronique Gens maybe a bit more becauce (?) she was was the first one I listened too :)

here some more for you
to listen to :)

Vol. 2