MER(S) brings together three sumptuous late-19th century works for female voice and orchestra: Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer, Elgar’s Sea Pictures and, in a world premiere recording, an ‘ode-symphonie’ by Victorin Joncières entitled La mer. Following her triumphant performance as Cassandre in Berlioz’s Les Troyens, Marie-Nicole Lemieux embarks on this musical sea voyage in the company of the Orchestre et choeurs nationaux Bordeaux Aquitaine under their music director Paul Daniel.
Lemieux is on imperious form in Sea Pictures. Her rich contralto sits easily in Elgar’s writing…She is magnificent [in the Chausson], completely at home in the fleshy vocal lines of Maurice Bouchor’s poetry to crown a really impressive, satisfying disc. Gramophone