July 06, 2007

Les lignes, les couleurs, les sons deviennent vagues

Régine Crespin died on Wednesday—with the passing of Beverly Sills, that makes two representative national heroines in one week. Crespin didn't have nearly as high a profile on this side of the Atlantic, but this committed Francophile was in awe of her unfailingly elegant tone and her absolutely effortless way with the language. This is a 1964 performance of Fauré's "Soir," a lovely object lesson in rich, intimate mélodie singing.

She's shamefully underrepresented on YouTube; here's hoping some of her Berlioz interpretations will turn up.

1 comment:

Ear Trumpet said...

And not only in French. Here is Robin Holloway on Crespin's recording of the Wolf/Moerike "In der Fruehe":

" ... Crespin is equally at home at a much lower storey. [RH has just described a Tiana Lemnitz performance.] This is the unidealistic version; as always she is richly sexual -- the very timbre as well as her masterly deployment of it (listen to the chalumeau of 'Nachtgespenster' and 'laenger') make one see and feel the disordered bed, the sultry night, the sensual coils."

Richard Buell