Jules Massenet composer
Shudong Braamse soprano
Charles Hulin piano
On her debut release on Navona Records, VOIX SUPRÊME: MÉLODIES OF JULES MASSENET, coloratura soprano Shudong Braamse presents a selection of Romantic French art songs, illustrating Massenet’s arresting motives, graceful vocal lines, and well-placed accompaniments.
Exhibiting Massenet’s meticulous style, Braamse creates tender and dynamic imagery, intertwining punctuated piano lines with her sensitive voice, which suggests the colors of a flute, while turbulent textures denote climactic moments of emotion. Massenet enriches motives and themes with the incorporation of religious scenes and the evocations of remote locales in works such as the austere Le Petit Jésus and exotic Chanson Andalouse.
In a critique of the evolution of Massenet’s operas, Debussy wrote that “[the composer] surely would have been wiser to go on expressing his genius in delicate colors and whispering melodies and in light airy structures.” These mélodies provide a glimpse of the supple creativity that Debussy so valued, and the effortless confidence, control, and delicacy Braamse offers Massenet’s captivating songs.