An invitation to the Wigmore Hall to listen to Marianne Crebassa and Fazıl Say

By John Shakespeare Dyson | May 9, 2020


Every Monday evening the Wigmore Hall releases a video stream of one of its acclaimed recitals, marvellously recorded and (invisibly) filmed live in what the great counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky described at a recent performance as London's 'temple to music'. Each concert is streamed for 24 hours – from 7.30pm in the UK (9.30pm Turkish time) on Monday evening until the same hour on the evening of the following day – so catch it while you can.

We particularly recommend the concert on Monday, May 11 (originally given this year on January 8). In it the French mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa and Turkish pianist Fazıl Say perform songs by Debussy, Ravel, Fauré and Duparc. In addition, Mr Say will be playing solo piano pieces by Debussy and Satie. Lastly, there will be two pieces composed by the very same Mr Say, with some Mozart as an encore – Ms Crebassa is justly famed for her Mozart interpretations. Click here to attend the concert.

Having listened to a good many recordings of Ms Crebassa singing mélodies (that is, French art songs) by Debussy, Ravel and Fauré– with piano accompaniment ably provided by Mr Say – I can definitely recommend that you lend an ear or three to their performance. I shall certainly be there, and will be sharing my views on the concert in my Musical Shares blog, along with a close examination of the music. I hope you will join me.

As a taster, this is a video of Marianne and Fazıl talking about their album Secrets – which contains renditions of Debussy’s Trois Chansons de Bilitis, Ravel’s Shéhérazade and two of Debussy’s Trois Mélodies de Verlaine (these last two are on the programme on Monday). The Ravel (a splendidly self-indulgent Orientalist fantasy-spree) and the Trois Mélodies – of which the first, the ravishing La mer est plus belle, is a setting of a poem inspired by a visit to Bournemouth – are on the programme.

As to the timing of your giving ear to the concert, if I had the choice I would choose Tuesday over Monday. The Moon will be in Capricorn on both days, but on Tuesday morning she will be conjoining fortunate Jupiter in late Capricorn, while Mercury will be approaching a stable, reassuring trine aspect to Saturn.

Coincidences, coincidences! I have just put out a two-part blog on a large number of Debussy’s songs, with the aim of keeping people entertained while they are in lockdown. You might also enjoy reading my piece on Reynaldo Hahn, whose A Chloris was performed by the counter-tenor Jakub Jozef Orlinski at the Wigmore Hall in a recital broadcast two weeks ago. In the blog you can listen to it sung by the amazing Philippe Jaroussky. See below.


Marianne Crebassa and Fazil Say appear courtesy of Erato/Warner Classics

For John Shakespeare Dyson's recent series on French chansons, see the blogs listed below.

Read John Shakespeare Dyson's latest Musical Shares article in Cornucopia 60 here

Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares
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