Degout and Planès near-perfect in French fables

Stéphane Degout/Alain Planès: Debussy/Poulenc/Satie/Ravel

Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam, 20th April 2016

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Can one overdose on Debussy songs? Not when Stéphane Degout delivers them so emphatically, yet with such refinement. Too much languid Debussy, however, can act as a mild opiate, inducing a half-dream state. Perhaps this was the baritone’s intention — an evening split into two distinct halves, the first misty with melancholy, the second spiked with soft-touch irony. His baritone of suede was highly gratifying in both modes. In the second half, however, Poulenc’s Le Bestiaire (The Bestiary) and Ravel’s Histoires naturelles (Stories from Nature) not only showed off his dramatic gifts better, but seemed a natural fit for his vocal temperament.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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