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Robert DUSSAUT (1896-1969)
Hélène COVATTI (1910-2005)
Adriana González (soprano)
Iñaki Encina Oyón, Thibaud Epp (piano)
French, Italian and Latin texts, English translation included.
rec. 2019, Gustav Mahler Hall , Euregio Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel, Toblach, Italy
AUDAX ADX13722 [70:11]

I can heartily welcome this wonderful release that has been given the honour of a deluxe presentation by Audax. This predisposed me to liking the effort before I had placed the disc in my player.

The songs of husband and wife composers Dussaut and Covatti are a fairly unknown commodity in the sphere of early 20th century music. Dussaut was mainly a composer of symphonies and operas; the songs recorded here for the first time are the complete catalogue of his works for voice and piano spanning a short period from 1916 to 1928. The career of Covatti was even more limited by the raising of her daughter and by the changes brought about by WWII. Her songs here are likewise the only ones she composed and they were all given their premieres in a concert in 1938 prior to her daughter’s birth.
On listening to this fine CD release I find that the early songs of Dussaut have a great deal in common with the salon music of Debussy and Ravel. There is an expansive quality to the music as it shifts from one mood to another. The songs that follow WWI have more of an angular directness about the music rather in keeping with the tastes of the time, not unlike that shift that occurred from meandering curves of art nouveau to the classic streamlines of art deco. The songs of Covatti have a similar directness and practical response to the poetry about them as the later songs of Dussaut.

This recording is the debut on CD for Guatemalan soprano Adrianna González. What a wonderful way to introduce such a fine new talent to the music purchasing public. Her tone is rich and her voice is absolutely solid from bottom to top. There were times that her singing put me in mind of the late Margaret Price. Ms González inhabits the emotional world of each song in a way that is quite enthralling. She is utterly ravishing in her version of Adieux à l’étranger as she bids farewell to the mysterious traveller from the East who has enthralled her. In the Élegie she manages the wonderful chromaticisms in a vocalise that should definitely begin to find its way onto recital programs. The Hymne crétois is a fascinating ode which pays tribute to classical Greek dances. Immediately this is followed by a haunting rendition of the Berceuse. The sensitive accompaniments of Iñaki Encina Oyón are beyond reproach. He is the main reason for this recording project taking off as it was his work with his teacher Thérèse Dussaut, the only child of Dussaut and Covatti, which familiarized his knowledge of these little known songs. In the case of the unfinished Hymne à la lumiére he worked on the fragments to prepare a performing edition of the song.

The engineers have captured a sound which is warmly resonant without losing any sense of detail; it would seem that the Hall in Toblach is an ideal location for chamber recording sessions.

Mike Parr
Robert DUSSAUT (1896-1969)
Je dédie à tes pleurs Op. 5, N. 1 (1921)
La nymphe de la source Op. 5, N. 2
Adieu Op. 2, N. 1 (1916)
L’Oracle Op. 2, N.2 (1917)
Adieux à l’étranger (1922)
Amor che vedi Op. 9, N. 1 (1925)
Chance Op. 10, N. 1 (1926)
Quand le coeur s’éveille op. 10, N. 2
Élegie (1928)
Les deux ménétriers Op 14, N 1 (1926)
Chant de joie (1926)
Pater Noster (1926)
Hymne à la lumiére Op. 12 (unfinished)

Hélène COVATTI (1910-2005)
Daphné-Song Cycle (1938)
Le bouquet d’Ophélie
Les roses de Saadi
Mélodies Grecques-Song Cycle (1938)
Hymne crétois
L’audacieuse sérénade
En expirant, j’entraînerai l’univers
Je t’ai dit oui

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