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Each decade finds its favourite soloist for the Chants d'Auvergne: in the 1960s it was Natania Devrath, the 70s had Victoria de los Angeles, the 80s Kiri Te Kanawa, the 90s Dawn Upshaw.
They weren't French, whereas Véronique Gens is quite at home in the dialect, as she comes from the Auvergne. Her singing is smooth and delicate, with plenty of body in the tone for some of the earthier moments. In all, five volumes of Auvergne songs were published between 1923-54. Each singer naturally includes 'Baïlèro', the most famous, and Gens doesn't disappoint in this. The 20 other songs range from the sad 'Uno jionto postouro', the lament of the girl whose lover has deserted her, to 'Malurous qu'o ono Fenno', the jaunty exposé of unhappy couples. Jean-Claude Casadesus and the Lille Orchestra bring out all the little details in the score, such as the lovely woodwind solos that link the three Bourrées. Perhaps this will become the interpretation for the present decade.

Canteloube: Chants d'Auvergne, Vol. 1

Orchestre National de Lille
Jean-Claude Casadesus
Véronique Gens (soprano)

No. 1. La Pastoura Als Camps (The Shepherdess in the Fields)

No. 2. Bailero

No. 3a. L'aio De Rotso (Spring Water)

No. 3b. Ound'onoren Gorda? (Where Shall We Go?))

No. 3c. Obal, Din Lou Limouzi (Over in Limousin)

No. 1. Pastourelle (Pastorale)

No. 2. L'Antoueno (Antoine)

No. 5a. N'ai Pas Ieu De Mio (I Have No Sweetheart)

No. 5b. Lo Calhe (The Snail)

No. 4. La Delaissado (The Abandoned Girl)

No. 2. Passo pel prat (Go through the meadow)

No. 3. Lou Boussu (The Hunchback)

No. 4. Brezairola (Lullaby)

No. 5. Malurous Qu'o Uno Fenno (Sorry the Man Who Has a Wife)

No. 1. Jou L'pount D'o Mirabel (On Mirabel Bridge)

No. 2. Oi Ayai (Oh No!)

No. 6. Lou Coucut (The Cuckoo)

No. 2. Quan Z'eyro Petitoune (When I was a Little Girl)

No. 3. La Haut, Sur Le Rocher (Up There on the Rock)

No. 7. Uno Jionto Postouro (A Fair Shepherd Lass)

No. 8. Lou Diziou Be (They Did Say)

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