Turbulent Heart

Paul Turok
Turok's Choice (US)

Tenor Steve Davislim sings orchestral songs by Vierne (Les Djinns, Eros, Ballade du désespéré, Pysché) and Chausson (Poème de l’amour et de la mer), with Guillaume Tourniaire leading the Queensland Orchestra (hybrid SACD MR301123). Orchestral music by Vierne is seldom heard; these substantial songs (they average over 12 minutes apiece) are exciting. Since they were originally written for tenor or soprano, transposition of the orchestra parts was not necessary. The same is not true of the Chausson (two songs with an orchestral interlude between them). Although the liner notes say that they were originally written for tenor, the printed score reads ‘medium voice’ and is in F Major. Davislim sings, beautifully, a whole step higher. (Transposing up, as opposed to down, does not involve dealing with bass notes that end up out of range for the low instruments.) Tourniaire and his orchestra make much of this music. The disc is beautifully recorded.