Patricia Hammond, CD, Le Charme, Debut CD, Buy, French Salon Songs, Les Feuilles Mortes, Kosma, Plaisir d'Amour, Jeunes Fillettes, Clair de lune, Reynaldo Hahn, L'Heure Exquise,


My debut album from 2002, containing 24 luscious tracks, featuring Zoe Mather’s wonderful piano playing, comes with a lavish 22-page booklet containing full French texts and English translations, made specially for this issue. Some of the most lyrical and sweet songs ever written in the French language.


Evoking the sound-world of French Salons of the Belle Epoque, these are the gossamer-light encores of Divas in corsets that gaze out at us from sepia postcards. Recorded in 2002 when Patricia first came to England from Canada, and chosen by the Editor of the American Record Guide as one of his favourite releases of the year, this CD has a lavish 22-page booklet in a full jewel-case, with the texts and translations for each of these carefully chosen songs.
Track Listing! Full texts and translations included in the CD booklet.
1. L'Heure Exquise (Reynaldo Hahn)
2. Automne (Gabriel Fauré)
3. Soyons Unis (Rhené-Batôn)
4. Fortunio: Chanson de Fortunio (Jacques Offenbach)
5. Chant Hindou (Hermann Bemberg)
6. Clair de Lune (Josef Szulc)
7. Epitaphe (Tivadar Nachèz)*
8. Si tu le veux (Charles Koechlin)
From BERGERETTES arr. Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin
-9. Jeunes Fillettes
-10. Menuet d’Exaudet
-11. Que ne suis-je la fougère
-12. Tambourin
13. Les Feuilles Mortes (Charles Kosma)
14. Le Charme (Ernst Chausson)
15. Berceuse from Jocelyn (Benjamin Godard)
16. Le Thé (Charles Koechlin)
17. Adieux de l’Hôtesse Arabe (Georges Bizet)
18. Hôtel (Francis Poulenc)
19. Plaintes d’Amour (Cécile Chaminade)
20. Quand l’amour meurt (Octave Crémieux)
21. Les Chemins de l’amour (Cécile Chaminade)
22. Chanson Triste (Henri Duparc)
23. Le Roi d’Ys: Vainement, ma bien-aimée (Edouard Lalo)
24. Plaisir d'Amour (Johann Paul Martini)

Donald R. Vroon (editor) American Record Guide Sept/Oct 2008

The singer sent me this in 2006, and I owe her an apology for such a late review. (She actually made the recording in 2003.) I misplaced it; then I found it but lost the US address. Then I couldn’t decide what to say. That problem was quite simple: I thought she sang these songs better than anyone I had heard, but I don’t have the technical training in voice to explain what that means. That is, I thought reviewing it myself would tell the knowledgeable reader less than if I sent it out.
But I didn’t want to send it out, because I had grown attached to it.

All the important French composers of songs seem represented here except Debussy and Ravel, who are best known for other things. Let me list the composers to show you what variety we have here: Hahn, Fauré, Rhene-Baton, Offenbach, Bemberg, Szulc, Nachez, Koechlin, Weckerline, Kosma (‘Autumn Leaves’, beautifully sung), Chausson, Godard (the famous Berceuse), Bizet, Poulenc (including ‘Les Chemins de l’Amour’––one of his best),Chaminade, Duparc, Lalo, and Martini (Plaisir
d’Amour’, at the end).
It’s a beautiful and balanced program, and the singing is perfect. The voice is silvery but substantial. It’s smooth and sweet and rich but not thick or heavy. She is English but sings French like a native, with native wit and feeling.

I guess one advantage to waiting so long is that I can testify how well this wears: I still love it and return to it. Of course, you have to love the language and the French style of expression and music. It’s not lieder; I like it better than most lieder. It’s lighter and more charming, and this singer gives the charm full value.

Chi-chi Nwanoku, BBC Radio 3, March 2nd, 2008

Patricia Hammond, your ears should be burning. Your voice has captivated so many of our listeners that they’re queueing up, writing in and tripping over themselves, desperate to hear you again. Charles Giles wrote “I heard her singing Autumn Leaves in your programme last year, and thought it was stunning.” Likewise, Sylvia Hardy says that she’s a changed woman since hearing Patricia Hammond, and that her disc is a revelation. “Please play any track from it.” Well, Ava Scott has made the
choice of track very easy for me. She writes “When I was a little girl in the 1930s, my mother used to play me an old, old record before I went to bed. It was the Berceuse from Jocelyn by Godard. I’d forgotten what it was called, and I’d forgotten the singer on the record for years and years. But then I was at a concert in Bushey, Hertfordshire, and a charming mezzo-soprano sang it, and the memories came flooding back. I’ve discovered recently that she’d recorded it, and I must say that her
version is absolutely lovely. The mezzo-soprano’s name is Patricia Hammond. The CD is entitled Le Charme and I do hope you can somehow find it, and play the Berceuse for me.”


Additional information

Weight .12 kg
Dimensions 14.2 × 12.5 × .10 cm

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