Hugues Cuenod 'Melodies' - A Recital of French Song
It was in 1972, when he was singing at Glyndebourne, that Cuenod began recording for Nimbus. In these records he leaves a unique and precious account of French song, which, incidentally, he taught every year in Europe and the United States. This album of Fauré and Duparc has never previously been released. Hugues Cuenod was between seventy and seventy-six at the time and the result is miraculous. Hear how skilfully he 'speaks' the text like an actor, with perfect diction and clarity. His style is admirably simple and natural, which is the most difficult thing to achieve in the very special art of the French 'mélodie'. He never descends into sentimentality or over-interpretation.
"Hugues Cuenod was already 70 when he made these recordings, though this hardly shows: the voice is light and steady, and his sense of style impeccable. Both the accompanists are highly sensitive and match the refined intelligence that this great artist brings to this repertoire." The Penguin Guide
It seems appropriate, given the recent death of Swiss tenor Hugues Cuénod (1902-2010) to remind readers of his fruitful association with Nimbus throughout the 1970s. This double disc of mélodies was recorded at various points between the years 1972 and 1978 but there is little real deterioration in Cuénod’s voice — the fact that he modestly denied having much of a voice at all should be taken with a large pinch of salt or, rather, that his characteristically nasal voice was of such an individual sound that it makes comparisons unprofitable.