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Subject: piau/manoff
From: Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 22 Feb 2017 11:43:30 -0500

text/plain (116 lines)

Last night was the Vocal Arts DC recital debut of

Sandrine Piau, soprano with Susan Manoff at the piano and I found out that they had sung in DC over a year ago (how did I miss that!) and are now finishing a short US tour. Her voice is quite gorgeous and while the program was themed about "Dreams" it was varied enough musically to make it thoroughly interesting and enjoyable.



“Le charme” “



“Neue Liebe”




La courte paille    

"Le sommeil”    

“Quelle aventure”    

“La reine de coeur”    

“Ba, Be, Bi, Bo, Bu”    

“Les anges musiciens”    

“Le carafon”    

“Lune d'avril”  

ALBAN BERG (1855–1935)





CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862–1918)

“Nuit d'étoiles” 


“Fleur des blés” 


“Beau soir”  








“Les chemins de l'amour”


“Voyage à Paris”


Encores: Fantoches-Debussy  & Sleep-Purcell

I would like to describe her soprano as "pure" in that she comes across very simply really getting to the guts and message of the music and the words. Even the last word "larme" of the second Chausson song seemed to be almost unspoken (and unsung) but so THERE!

I loved the Mendelssohn, especially the Nachtlied which is so grand yet she remained so reserved and Ms. Manoff played the pants off the Hexenlied.

Poulenc is always a treat and the first "Le sommeil" was so Dialogues-ish and then we had the adorable texts of the silly songs as well, especially "Quelle aventure that indeed had the audience giggling, as did the end of "Le carafon," as Ms. Piau gave a silly shrug.

I have never been a big Berg fan but the early songs are indeed much better and here sounded so "dense" as the program calls them, yet somehow lightened by this soprano's legerity.

The Debussy were delicious and I am sure I have not heard most of them. Before the final Poulenc set, Ms. Manoff explained they would change the order to end with Sanglots due to the present political situation in the US. It was left at that, but we have noticed many recitalists making small political statements these past few months. Here, the text reads " Et du retour des heureux emigrants" or "and of the joyous return of the happy emigrants..."

What another wonderful evening at Vocal Arts DC!

ALAN SAVADA of Washington, DC

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