A recital album full to the brim with exquisite art song, this recording is a compilation of hidden treasures and classic favourites performed by Opera Australia star, Stacey Alleaume.
An Australian-Mauritian soprano of increasing acclaim, Alleaume, who has been praised for her “voice of bell-like purity” (Limelight Magazine) is accompanied by exceptional pianist Amir Farid. Together, they perform the works of much loved composers including Camille Saint-Saëns, Henri Duparc, Giacomo Puccini, Reynaldo Hahn and Jules Massenet, whose exquisite songs explore sentiments penned by such notable poets as Charles Baudelaire, Victor Hugo, Ada Negri and Robert Browning.
The inspiration for the album’s title Moonlight Reflections, came from Saint-Saëns composition, Clair de lune, meaning ‘moonlight’. The album embraces the concept that art song serves as a reflection upon moments in life. The works selected for this recording take the listener on a significant emotional journey: from the joyfulness at the renewal of summer, the gaiety of birds singing and the happiness of a morning-song to the open expression of eternal love contrasted against the unbearable grief of a lost beloved.
The programme includes two ensemble works by composer Amy Beach featuring cellist Zoe Knighton and violinist Erica Kennedy.
Liner notes include song texts with translations and biographical notes on the artists.
Australian-Mauritian soprano Stacey Alleaume has established herself as one of Australia’s most accomplished performers.
Pianist Amir Farid has been described as "a highly creative musician - a pianist of great intelligence and integrity. He brings strong musical substance to all that he does, imbuing it with his own particular experience and understanding", and who "in a well populated field...distinguishes himself for all the right reasons".
“Art songs with insight. Both artists are concerned with some fine music. Most of the material was composed between 1888 and 1913 – 15 tracks in total – while the odd man out that misses these parameters (besides the two extremes) is one of the most famous art songs in the repertoire: Duparc’s 1870 L’invitation au voyage. What do you learn from Amy Beach’s setting of Vicor Hugo’s Chanson d’amour? The American writer had a fine ear for the genre, certainly, best demonstrated in the three choruses of this work, throughout which cellist Zoe Knighton joins her long-time collaborator Farid in weaving some lush lines around Alleaume’s far-ranging part. It’s a persuasive piece, particularly for the care that Beach gave to the supporting material and her differentiations between the verses and choruses. Here’s an opportunity to experience Alleaume’s abilities in an unexpected field. She has appeared in several Opera Australia productions over the last six years and it looks as though her career is set to follow that trajectory. This collection of songs reveals an interpretative ability of some accomplishment, the soprano’s laudable efforts reinforced by one of our most insightful accompanists.”Read full review
— Clive O'Connell, O'Connell the Music
“... a charming collection of art song both beloved and less known. Eloquently partnered by Australian pianist Amir Farid, Moonlight Reflections is a showcase of Alleaume’s of lyric instrument and her developing artistry. Of particular interest is Alleaume’s inclusion of Amy Beach’s Three Browning Songs, which feature cellist Zoe Knighton and violinist Erica Kennedy. Beach’s settings are sensitive to the texts, fluent in their piano-writing, and brim-full of expressive melody. Alleaume is very impressive here, demonstrating an attention to the words that further elevates the material. Her bright, bell-like sound and easy vocal production make these go down particularly smoothly, and her evocation of spring, nature, and the changing landscape is powerful and often moving. A very fine debut album from a formidable talent.” ★★★★Read full review
— Justine Nguyen, Limelight
“Moonlight Reflections is a charming and illuminating portrait album of a soprano on an upward trajectory. In the recording studio, the singer must perform without the energy of the audience and support of visual cues, props, costumes and without being able to act. With this repertoire Alleaume explores new ground. Indeed, she brings a sense of the operatic to some of the songs with flourishes and opulent endings. Alleaume tells her tale well and we look forward to more from this talented soprano.”Read full review
— Shamistha de Soysa, Sounds Like Sydney
“Stacey Alleaume, a multi-award – winning soprano and Opera Australia principal has released her debut album of art songs from the late Romantic period. The choices suit her superb voice perfectly and with such excellent support from the pianist Amir Farid, there are many delights to enjoy on this disc. The opening song on the CD, L’été, by Chaminade, is a veritable showcase for sopranos. It immediately establishes that Stacey Alleaume has a wonderful instrument with a flexible, sparkling coloratura and a truly splendid top register – free and ringing. Then follows Henri Duparc’s atmospheric masterpiece, L’Invitation au Voyage, which requires great dynamic control, a flawless legato line and a very good pianist. The long rising phrases with their wonderful climaxes are here effortlessly achieved by Alleaume and Farid, whose nimble touch captures the exquisite effects of light on water that Duparc created in this extraordinary realisation of Baudelaire’s poem. Alleaume’s French is perfect. This has remained my favourite track on the disc – not only is it a great work but this performance is stunning. Alleaume and Farid are joined by Zoe Knighton on cello and Erica Kennedy on violin in Beach’s lovely Chanson d’amour, Op.21: No.1. With its long passionate phrases so well handled by all, it seemed written especially for these artists, and is another highlight on the disc. The glorious final top note from the soprano is very exciting. Amir Farid’s contribution to the success of this disc cannot be understated – his playing is world-class.”Read full review
— Inge Southcott, Music Trust e-zine Loud Mouth
- L’été Cécile Chaminade
- L’Invitation au voyage Henri Duparc
- O that it were so! Frank Bridge
- Terra e mare Giacomo Puccini
- Sole e amore Giacomo Puccini
- Chanson d’amour, Op. 21: No. 1 Amy Beach
- Stornello Pietro Cimara
- L’Énamourée Reynaldo Hahn
- À Chloris Reynaldo Hahn
- Notte, P.97: No. 1 Ottorino Respighi
- Nebbie Ottorino Respighi
- Contrasto Ottorino Respighi
- Être aimé Jules Massenet
- Amoureuse Jules Massenet
- Clair de lune Camille Saint-Saëns
- No. 1. The Year’s at the Spring
- No. 2. Ah, Love but a day!
- No. 3. I send my heart up to thee
Three Browning Songs, Op. 44 Amy Beach
- Stacey Alleaume · soprano
- Amir Farid · piano
- Zoe Knighton · cello · track 6
- Erica Kennedy · violin · track 17
Where to buy
Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.