Sunday, October 4, 2015

Love, Loss, and the Sea: Soile Isokoski sings French art song

Soile Isokoski's album of lush French art songs resists easy classification. It doesn't have a title; its design doesn't seem to strive for a particular atmosphere. It is in many ways a slowly unfolding disc, subtle and richly layered. The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of John Storgårds, provides a delicately nuanced reading of some of the nineteenth century's more ecstatic outpourings. While far from averse to a bit of musical decadence, I appreciated the unusually intellectual approach of Storgårds and Isokoski. Although I anticipated that Les Nuits d'Été would form the centerpiece of the disc, I found the very philosophical ecstasies of Chausson's Poème de l'amour et de la mer to be its unexpected standout.


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