Varda sings CD Charles Gounod
Review from : Repertiore
Repertiore June 2001
Repertoire no. 147
Page: 48

Reviewer: Philippe Simon
Grade of C.D.: Good

We already know through the recommended anthology of English Hyperion Company from 1993 (with Felicity Lott, Ann-Murray, Anthony - Ralphe -Johnson, accompanied by Graham Johnson that feels of course very comfortable in their mother tongue) part of the melodies written by Charles Gounod in London. The story of Charles Gounod appears to be as a curiosity “A Seduction of the Devil” that comes to seduce a musician with a sexy blonde woman – Georgina Weldon. Charles Gounod lived in London separated from his wife and children, refused a position of conservatory manager in Paris and was completely controlled by Mrs. Weldon – an English singer, when her husband is playing “The Impresario”. Poor Gounod being squeezed likes a lemon while his juice is producing dozens of melodies, verses and duets in English style (total of almost a hundred creations) while the couple introduces Charles Gounod like a circus beast to satisfy there house guests curiosity for a payment (Henry Busier wrote this in deep shock). Dreadful story which within four years broke the heart, the soul and talent of Charles Gounod (neither of the last written operas in London had a success) destroyed him and a big part of his credit and almost made him go to prison. What is left is a group of melodies written with generous lyrics and high quality of inspiration, which offers to English Repertoire an interesting musical ensemble. Was it all worth the sacrifice? Israeli Soprano Varda Kotler sings this Rare repertoire (ten out of nineteen songs are new and do not appear in Hyperion album) she sings refinement, in spite of some vocal difficulties. with The Accompaniment of Veronique Barraud sounds distant, with echoes that vagueness her playing. The imbalance between voice and piano spoils part of a big pleasure of discovering the melodies. This C.D definitely completes the Hyperion collection, yet still it doesn’t achieve the editing perfection of the Hyperion album.

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