Classical Music Forum banner

Which vocalist performed the best rendition of Fauré's 3 Mélodies, Op. 23: No. 1, Les berceaux?

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

· Premium Member
Chicago (ex-Dublin)
Joined
·
6,203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ship GIF - Download & Share on PHONEKY


3 Mélodies, Op. 23: No. 1, Les berceaux · Sabine Devieilhe


3 Mélodies, Op. 23: No. 1, Les berceaux · Véronique Gens


3 Mélodies, Op. 23: No. 1, Les berceaux - Sandrine Piau


"Like many composers, Faure was consistently attracted by texts about the sea, or any other body of water (Au bord de l'eau, L'horizon chimerique, Les matelots, La fleur qui va sur l'eau, to name just a few), and in this text, the poet draws the parallel between the rocking of a ship and of a cradle, which Faure captured in his setting, one of his most haunting songs. The accompaniment carries this rocking theme steadily in a pensive minor, while the voice in the first verse quietly describes, without any particular "painting" except the simply rising and falling line, the ships in the harbor. In the second, the music becomes more emotional, in the crescendo to the long high notes and the dramatic octave descent, depicting the pull of the horizon. In the last verse, while the accompaniment returns to the rocking motif, the extended notes in the vocal line subtly portray the conflict that the text personifies in the boats, the desire to remain gently rocked in harbor."
- AllMusic Guide



Les berceaux - The cradles

Le long du quai les grands vaisseaux,
Que la houle incline en silence,
Ne prennent pas garde aux berceaux
Que la main des femmes balance.


Along the quay the great ships,
Listing silently with the surge,
Pay no heed to the cradles
Rocked by women’s hands.

Mais viendra le jour des adieux,
Car il faut que les femmes pleurent,
Et que les hommes curieux
Tentent les horizons qui leurrent
.

But the day of parting will come,
For it is decreed that women shall weep,
And that men with questing spirits
Shall seek enticing horizons.

Et ce jour-là les grands vaisseaux,
Fuyant le port qui diminue,
Sentent leur masse retenue
Par l’âme des lointains berceaux.


And on that day the great ships,
Leaving the dwindling harbour behind,
Shall feel their hulls held back
By the soul of the distant cradles.
 

· Premium Member
Chicago (ex-Dublin)
Joined
·
6,203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Somewhere in my head, though, I have the sound of a deeper man's voice in the song and a quick search on youtube came up with José Van Dam and I do think I prefer it sung by a man.
Fair enough - I'll look up some of the results on a YouTube search - I work differently than John does - I use "Award Winners" on the Presto Music search page as my starting point for candidates as I can't quite rely on my extensive expertise to make these kinds of decisions because quite frankly I don't have much, if any - Thanks for taking the time to provide your insights - They're always greatly appreciated!
 

· Premium Member
Chicago (ex-Dublin)
Joined
·
6,203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Les berceaux - Sabine Devieilhe - Véronique Gens - Sandrine Piau

Vocal control - Three-way tie

Good tone - Two-way tie - Clearly Gens and Piau with Devieilhe almost, but not quite, being able to reach that level (at least with this song)

Enunciation - Three-way tie

Pronunciation - Three-way tie

Musical phrasing - Edge to Gens with Piau having the edge on Devieilhe

Voice suitability - Again, two-way tie - Clearly Gens and Piau with Devieilhe almost, but not quite, being able to reach that level (again, at least with this song)

Versatility - Three-way tie

Shaughnessy Method = attractive, ample bosom, shapely bottom, ankles thinner than calves - Finally! - Distinct edge for Gens over Devieilhe

Performance that I actually enjoyed the most - Edge to Véronique Gens over Sandrine Piau - with an edge over Sabine Devieilhe
 

· Premium Member
Chicago (ex-Dublin)
Joined
·
6,203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I was thinking that too, though I'm not sure I've ever heard it sung by a man. Maybe I was just visualizing sailors in ships.
It's worth looking into although when I used "Award Winners" as one of my search criterium at Presto Music, the results lead to the selections that I used in the contest all of whom, oddly enough and purely by random chance and odd coincidence, happened to be really attractive women...
 

· Premium Member
Chicago (ex-Dublin)
Joined
·
6,203 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Somewhere in my head, though, I have the sound of a deeper man's voice in the song and a quick search on youtube came up with José Van Dam and I do think I prefer it sung by a man.
This version won a Gramophone Magazine "Recording of the Month" award in August of 2022 - It's just a guess on my part but I think this may be closer to what you may have had in mind -


Les Berceaux, Op. 23 No. 1 · Cyrille Dubois ·
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top