Turbulent Heart

Jean-Jacques Millo (English trans.)
Opus Haute Définition (France)

Louis Vierne was a wretched composer for whom life was an endless ordeal, as these desperate words attest: ‘I have neither a future nor a hope of return, no more illusions, no more love for my art; I no longer believe in anything ... Fortunately, I have the increasing feeling that it is coming to an end: may this sense not betray me as everything else has done.’ An author of around sixty two works, Vierne composed in different musical genres, most notably chamber music, song, instrumental works for piano, orchestral works as well as sacred music. Known essentially for his organ works, he was, however, a symphonist worthy of great interest. The program on this CD is proof of that with remarkable vocal works like Les Djinns Op. 35, based on Victor Hugo, Eros Op. 37, Ballade du désespéré Op. 61, and Pysché Op. 33. As for Ernest Chausson, he was inspired by the poet Maurice Bouchor in composing his celebrated Poème de l’amour et de la mer, Op. 19. Comprised of two parts, the score took twelve years from beginning to completion. The tenor Steve Davislim lends his luminous voice, his perfect diction and welcome dramatic sense to these works in an approach heightened by the inspired conducting of Guillaume Tourniaire. The latter is a miraculous accompanist, supporting the voice with ideal precision. In short, this is an indispensable disc of French vocal music presented in a faultless SACD recording.