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Review of Fêtes Galantes CD by Den Klassiske CD-Bloggen

Sangkunst på fransk Mezzosopranen Bettina Smith er ute med en ny plate med fransk musikk signert Claude Debussy og Gabriel Fauré. Det klingende resultatet er den franske sangskatten verdig. Musikken er variert, den er beskrivende og romansene…
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Ida Habbestad – Dagsavisen

Golden Hothouse The concept of “Serres Chaudes”—French for hothouses—is well suited for the songs on this disc. Each cycle represents a late work of the respective composer, all of whom were mature masters of their craft. The performers,…
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Peter Larsen – Bergens Tidende

Musical settings of symbolist poems, trembling lips, love’s sorrows, pale ennui. Quivering neuroses, deep melancholy, and extreme happiness. The world into which Bettina Smith and Einar Røttingen draw us on this recording is full of abrupt…

Impressions

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The best release this summer!

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More Reviews

Raymond Beegle, Fanfare Magazine

The 23 songs on this disc are . . . profound, marvelously crafted, and subtle, placing great demands upon the  artist. Bettina Smith, with her dark bell-like voice, seems to own these songs and feel a deep sympathy for the  symbolist texts . . . there are many fine performances here, especially in the Saint-Saëns group. Silence and  Amoroso suit the singer’s temperament and vocal capabilities very well. The range of tone, facility, and  authentic style of pianist Einar Røttingen lift the entire recital to a higher standard.

Hroar Klempe – Adresseavisen

Magnificently French—A recording that takes us inside of what is French. First and foremost, it is the impressionistic side presented on this recording, and in so consistent and outstanding a manner that it leaves virtually no room for improvement.

Bettina Smith’s mezzo is authentic and warm in the most seductive way, and pianist Einar Røttingen shows how elegantly one can be seduced.

He melds into the alluring sonorous richness in such a manner as to foil the efforts of any listener to remain unmoved . . . the recording fuses into tonal sculptures of which Chausson, Fauré, and Saint-Saëns had the most convincing compositional grasp. And recreated with these artists it becomes quite simply something great

Ståle Wigshåland – Dagbladet

Ernest Chausson, Gabriel Fauré, and Camille Saint-Saëns are the composers concealed behind the title “Serres Chaudes,” a CD of French melodies recorded by mezzo-soprano Bettina Smith and pianist Einar Røttingen.

It is an excellent recording—excellent because they have taken from the parts of the repertoire in which the sensuality of the French language is shown to better advantage, and excellent too because both achieve that slightly nasal melodiousness which is more inviting to listen to.

Røttingen drapes a lovely blanket of sound around the shoulders of Bettina Smith’s mezzo. It wonderfully matches the inflections in the music, especially the legato phrasing.

BBC (Radio 3) review of Fêtes Galantes CD on “Record Review” with Music Critic

H ighly expressive singing…quite a substantial mezzo, a lot of color and character in the
voice…Just hear how she responds to a song from the darker, second series of Debussy’s Fetes
Galantes…

I love the way this sort of slightly dusky mezzo of hers conveys this ghostly
conversation in the park, the lovers’ dialogue of love that maybe once was…maybe is no
longer…”

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Bettina Smith!

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