Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stéphane Degout and Cédric Tiberghien join forces at Wigmore Hall

Stéphane Degout and Cédric Tiberghien
Barihunk Stéphane Degout will join forces with equally sexy accompanist Cédric Tiberghien at Wigmore Hall on January 29th. The two will perform two of Ravel's epic song cycles, Chansons madécasses and the Histoires naturelles. They will also perform some of Poulenc's most notable songs, Le bestiaire, Montparnasse, Hyde Park, Calligrammes, Quatre poèmes de Guillaume, Apollinaire and Banalités.

The duo will be joined by Matteo Cesari on flute and Alexis Descharmes on cello for Chansons madécasses, a collection of three chansons written in 1925 and 1926 for voice, flute, cello and piano. They chansons were originally dedicated to the American musician and philanthropist Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. The composer combined twentieth-century musical experimentation and exoticism with the late nineteenth-century style characteristics present in the vocal elements and instrumentation.

Stéphane Degout performs Chansons madécasses with Alexis Descharmes on cello:

The 1906 song cycle Histoires naturelles is set to five poems by Jules Renard for voice and piano. The cycle was originally dedicated to the mezzo-soprano Jane Bathori, who gave the first performance, accompanied by Ravel at the piano, on January 12, 1907. The chansons are about a peacock, a cricket, a swan, a kingfisher and a guinea fowl. The unusual text of the pieces created a bit of a controversy at the opening performance.

Both song cycles are generally performed by either baritone or mezzo-soprano.

The French composer Francis Poulenc composed songs throughout his career, with his most prolific output in the 1930s and 1940s. He took most of his texts from his favorite poets, who included Guillaume Apollinaire, Paul Éluard, Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob, and Louise de Vilmorin. His songs have been praised for how the melodic line perfectly matches the text.

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