Music review: Véronique Gens / Susan Manoff

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review: Véronique Gens / Susan Manoff at the Queen’s Hall, reviewed by Carol Main


SINGING the French repertoire in which she excels, soprano Véronique Gens produced a particularly agreeable recital. Her mature voice, well rounded and with a pliability that can let her float off one minute and command the auditorium with immense power the next, was in top form for Duparc, Debussy, Chausson and Hahn, albeit not quite warmed up enough for the first set of Fauré.

Expressive in delivery, Gens coloured Duparc’s Romance de Mignon with just the right sort of radiant glow, drawing out the loving pleading of Victor Wilder’s Goethe inspired words. Persuasive too in Debussy and Chausson’s emotive Le temps des lilas (Lilac Time) and La chanson bien douce (The very gentle song), Gens was more than ably partnered by accompanist Susan Manoff who generously enhanced Gens’ interpretations, especially in the more lightweight selection of songs by Reynaldo Hahn.

And if there was a prize for the best-dressed Queen’s Hall performers, it would be awarded to this duo.

Originally published in The Scotsman

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