Le Voyage: Bizet, Debussy, Koechlin, Ravel, Viardot | Champs Hill Records CHRCD169

Le Voyage: Bizet, Debussy, Koechlin, Ravel, Viardot


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Label: Champs Hill Records

Cat No: CHRCD169

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 14th April 2023



Soprano Alexandra Lowe and pianist Patrick Milne explore music and text inspired by Greece, the Middle East, and Lowe’s home country, Spain, in Le Voyage; an international journey told through French romantic song.

Highlights include Ravel’s Cinq mélodies in the beautiful original Greek, Shéhérazade and Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis, alongside lesser-known composer Charles Koechlin’s versions of the same texts. The latter is an astonishing discovery – occupying a more ethereal, mystical plane where the musical language is quite unlike anything else on the album.

The Spanish element of the programme is particularly personal, as Lowe was born and raised in Mallorca. She comments: Bizet’s music stood out to me for its character, playfulness, and melodic beauty. This led me to the gorgeous Adieux de l’hôtesse arabe (text by Victor Hugo), a slight nod to the earlier Shéhérazade settings. We couldn’t resist including a Bolero, so we opted for Bizet’s fiery Ouvre ton coeur. We also selected an uplifting pairing of Pauline Viardot songs (Les filles de Cadix and Madrid), both setting poems by Alfred de Musset. A feature of this part of the album is the use of coloratura which, combined with music inspired by the country of my birth, made it the perfect finale to the disc!”

Alexandra Lowe started her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music before joining the Opera Course at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and thereafter the National Opera Studio. An invitation to join Covent Garden’s prestigious Jette Parker Young Artist Programme followed, as well as significant competition success at the 2020 Glyndebourne Opera Cup and 2020 Concorso Lirico Internazionale di Portofino.

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