Philippe Jaroussky and the sweet songs of Paul Verlaine

CD – “The long sobs of autumn violins…” Paul Verlaine is the French poet who is most often set to music. Léo Ferré, Charles Trenet, and George Brassens all sung his texts and, before them, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns and others composed music to his texts.

In this album counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky, a Baroque opera specialist, delves into these mélodies, his secret musical passion.

“Green”, his new double CD, has the whiff of a good old Parisian café, absinthe and all. The gorgeous arrangements by the Ebène String Quartet and pianist Jérôme Ducros highlight the evocative power of Verlaine’s poems. And Philippe Jaroussky’s distinctive voice – that of a man singing with a woman’s vocal range – lends these scores a timeless tenderness, an exquisite sepia… it’s all utterly vintage!

« Green », Philippe Jaroussky, Erato.

This article was published in Le Parisien on 28 February 2015. Translated by J.A. Macfarlane

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