Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence

La vie d’une rose: Songs by Massenet, Volume 2


Catalogue No: SOMMCD 0600
Release Date: 2019-08-02
Number of Discs: 1
EAN/UPC: 748871060029
Artists: , ,
Liner Notes

SOMM Recordings is honoured to release the last recording made by the much-loved and admired soprano Sally Silver before her death at the age of 51 in 2018.

Named a Norman Lebrecht Album of the Week!

Silver’s third release on SOMMLa 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 disc full of delightful discoveries distinguished by persuasive performances of idiomatic charm”.

On This Recording

  1. Sérénade d’automne
  2. Passionnément
  3. L’heure solitaire*
  4. Nuit d’Espagne
  5. Souhait
  6. La mélodie des baisers**
  7. Rien ne passe!
  8. La vie d’une rose (Quatre mélodies Op.12, No.3)
  9. Le poète et le fantôme*
  10. Puisqu’elle a pris ma vie (Poème d’amour, No.4)
  11. Dieu créa le désert
  12. La dernière lettre de Werther à Charlotte 4:08 (Expressions Lyriques, No.5)**
  13. Le sais-tu?
  14. La dernière chanson
  15. Aux étoiles*
  16. Chanson pour elle
  17. Être aimé
  18. Salut, printemps!*
  19. Le coffret d’ébène
  20. Vous aimerez demain 3:13 (Poème d’avril, No.5)
  21. Joie!*
  22. L’âme des fleurs
  23. Les fleurs*
  24. Le petit Jésus
  25. Amoureux appel
*duet **solo


Norman Lebrecht Album of the Week!

“It’s not just the sparkle she brings to Massenet’s somewhat timeworn drawing-room songs — though that alone is worth the price of admission — it’s the slightly-knowing false-innocence that she injects into numbers like Passionément and Souhait. Sally sings like someone who knows the meaning of life and the value of each moment. The mezzo Christine Tocci, who joins in several duets, gives as good as she gets. Why go to see a Massenet opera when the small stuff is so good, and so concise? … This is perfect fare for a summer’s night.” —Norman Lebrecht, Ludwig van Toronto

“As I was listening and making notes, I found myself ticking songs that appealed. I soon noticed that I was ticking practically every one of them. To make some sort of short list has therefore been supremely difficult.” —Ian Lace, MusicWeb International