AMUSE-BOUCHE / I Fagiolini 4789394

. . . [I Fagiolini] venture confidently into early and mid-twentieth-century French repertoire . . . lustrous harmonies . . . I Fagiolini also sing Roderick William's new arrangement of the Adagio from Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, with Anna Markland sensuously tickling the ivories and the voices replicating the sinuous strings.

. . . the collection is the very best kind of musical pleasure, and one rather more substantial and enduring than the title might suggest . . . I Fagiolini bring all the madrigalian clarity and responsive, soloistic singing of their early music performances to this contemporary repertoire . . . [on Daniel-Lesur's song cycle] I Fagiolini's 12 solo voices give the work an operatic freedom and scope that makes sense of these fragrant texts and their amplified emotions . . . "Un soir de neige" cuts deliciously against the shifting, ambiguous sensuality and languor of Milhaud's "Deux Poèmes", where a vocal quartet provides sudden intensity. . . [Amuse-bouche" is] entirely fresh and unexpected, a recording that's a bit sexy, a bit silly and absolutely, unmissably superb.

. . . witty . . . delightful . . . sensuous . . .

. . . a disc of music devoted to oral pleasures . . . Exquisitely accompanied by pianist Anna Markland . . . As pianist and singer, Markland offers the most idiomatic performance. She plays Satie's "Gnossiennes" 4, 5 and 6 beautifully and sings the top line of Milhaud's "Deux poèmes" and Poulenc's "Un soir de neige" with elegance and integrity. Together with sopranos Helen Neeves and Kirsty Hopkins, she also locates a stylish, smiling blend.

There's something irresistible and intoxicating about hearing an ensemble taking such pleasure in making music with each other. That joy and communicative energy absolutely sings from this recording, making it a winner even before you take into account the provocative collision of repertoire, marrying the sacred and earthily sensual with breathtaking audacity.

. . . une ronde des plaisirs . . . la mélodie "Hôtel" tourne ici de lèvres en lèvres comme une cigarette, succèdent les délices gourmets: Jean Francaix fait sauter et gargouiller les sentences de Brillat-Savarin pour élever une "Ode à la gastronomie" (1950) à douze voix, inédite au disque. Onomatopées, mots ou syllabes répétés en ostinato en épicent le discours, gracieusement entrelacé par les Fagiolini . . . La beauté plastique de l'interprétation flatte la gourmandise comme le désir . . . Roderick Williams, autre vieux complice du groupe, métamorphose les Fagiolini en orchestre ravélien. Les voix se lovent amoureusement autour du piano pour broder quelques vers empruntés à Rimbaud et Baudelaire sur la rêverie du "Concerto en sol" de Ravel.