Album Review

Posted: Sunday 11th March 2001
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Pastorale: French Choral Works – American Record Guide

This is worthy of the choral aficionado’s attention for the generously apportioned repertoire – as delightful as it is seldom performed. Delibes’s “Nymphs des bois”, Massenet’s “Oiseau des bois” from his Amaranthe songs, Ravel’s chansons, and the Saint-Saëns “Serenade” are just some of the charmers that await you. While I can’t say I love everything the Vasaris do, they are polished professionals who sing with commendable spirit. The fellows can be especially good, as you’ll hear in the Saint-Saëns “Sereande to Winter”. Ravel’s “Ronde” quivers with energy, while Massenet’s “Oiseau des bois” is sweet and flirtatious to a fault. I’m less impressed with the cool, clear soprano soloist who adds no sparkle at all to Debussy’s “Tambourin” or Ravel’s “Birds of Paradise”. A slow, stodgy Fauré “Pavane” and some forced crescendos in the Saint-Saëns “Hymns to Spring” also detract. But the good outweighs the not so good by a comfortable margin, and the repertoire is a joy.

American Record Guide