Jonathan Freeman-Attwood - Faure - Gramophone
During 1906 Fauré composed vocalises for sight-singing tests at the Paris Conservatoire, where singing of art-song had just been made mandatory. Eventually they fell out of use, until published in 2013, which brought them to the attention of performers. For the singer, the level of difficulty varies from piece to piece. They reveal bold colours and surprisingly dramatic fanfare-like gestures. Almost certainly at Fauré's instigation, the voice professor Amadée-Louis Hettich extended the series to include contributions from contemporary composers such as Chabrier, Hahn and, for contrast, Rameau and Couperin, and a selection of these is included. All are most stylishly played by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood with either Roy Howat or, in the case of the excerpts from other composers' music, Daniel-Ben Pienaar. Freeman-Attwood has a warm timbre and he phrases the often simple melodic lines appealingly, catching their stylistic differences admirably. Both pianists give him sensitive support. The result is a most attractive anthology, naturally balanced and recorded.