Mélodies on poems by Paul Éluard & Louise de Vilmorin,
Poulenc to Fall in Love With
The less you listen to a repertoire, the taller classic performances stand. With me that’s true for French art-songs generally and Poulenc’s especially, where the indomitable Gérard Souzay reigns in my ears. But here comes a German baritone whom I hadn’t even heard of, and sings an hour’s worth of a Poulenc recital so well, I fall a bit more in love with it every time I hear it. Dramatic and nuanced, impeccably articulated, honey-toned, sweeping and musically partnered by Alessandro Zuppardo and his 1901 Steinway, Holger Falk achieves something quite special that impresses and touches me. Highlight among highlights might be the mini-cycle “Le travail du peintre”. Every time I just want to listen to one or two bits to check up on something, I get stuck in this sumptuous, fantabulous performance for the whole, wonderful ride! Ticket to Best of 2013 already booked!