La Vie D'une Rose - Songs By Jules Massenet
Label: SOMM RECORDS
Catalog: SOMMCD 0600
Silver, Sally; Bonynge, Richard; Tocci, Christine
SOMM Recordings is honored to release one of the last recordings made by the much-loved and admired soprano Sally Silver before her death at the age of 51 in 2018. Silver’s third release on SOMM, La vie d’une rose returns to the evocatively perfumed songs of Jules Massenet following 2015’s well-received Les amoureuses sont des folles. Accompanied again by the renowned conductor- pianist Richard Bonynge – who also provides a moving, specially written tribute – she is joined by the mezzo-soprano Christine Tocci on six duets. The 25 (of Massenet’s 285) mélodies heard here offer a marked contrast to the familiar image of the composer’s famed operatic credentials. As Massenet expert Hervé Oléon says in his authoritative booklet notes: “Massenet, the song composer, was, in his own words, rather more at home in salons – this ‘bourgeois artist at the fireside’ as he liked to describe himself”. Embracing a multitude of emotions, sacred and profane, these songs employ wide-ranging forms and a broad musical palette to always captivating ends while also revealing a composer perpetually developing, keen to experiment and looking towards the future. La vie d’une rose is produced by the late soprano’s husband Jeremy Silver (Director of the Opera School at the University of Cape Town) who also provides the translation of Hervé Oléon’s booklet notes. Of Sally Silver’s previous releases with SOMM, her first volume of Massenet songs, Les amoureuses sont des folles (SOMMCD 0151), received the coveted Orphée d’or from L’Académie du disque lyrique and was a Recording of the Month for MusicWeb International, who described it as “A pure delight... [Silver and Bonynge] bring inspired, sympathetic, thoughtfully nuanced readings to these songs”. Songs by William Vincent Wallace (SOMMCD 0131) was hailed by Classical Ear as “A release full of delightful discoveries distinguished by persuasive performances of idiomatic charm”.