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Mélodies (complete)
Mireille Delunsch (soprano) Vincent Le Texier (baritone) Guy Flechter (tenor) François Kerdoncuff (piano)
Timpani 1C1053 [63.34]

Duparc's complete songs fit conveniently on a single CD and in the catalogue there are many contending versions of most of them. I have those of Sarah Walker/Thomas Allen and François Le Roux/Danielle Borst, which I prefer (REM 311049 ****), in which the majority of the songs are taken by the baritone.

In this new one, recorded in Luxembourg October 1999, the lion's share is taken by Mireille Delunsch, an affecting soprano with a good line and thrilling high register (at least I found it so). She is let down, however, and the disc ruled out for serious consideration, by her singing partner Le Texier, who sounds to have been out of voice for these sessions (perhaps too many Scarpias and flying Dutchmen had taken their toll?). For the duet La fuite she is partnered by the tenor Guy Flechter, who has the unenviable role of the wimpish lover who makes all manner of excuses not to flee with her across the desert! The piano playing is fluent and idiomatic, but as recorded strangely bass-light.

A disappointment in a series which has given me great pleasure during the last year or two.

Peter Grahame Woolf

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