The in all respects beautiful baritone Gérard Souzay has made the big mistake to sing on for far too long. His last Philips recordings are unlistenable and with his hair dyed pitch black he looked rather pathetic. A great pity, because if you listen to his earlier recordings, you can only fall in love with him and his voice.
Souzay was without a doubt one of the greatest performers of French song and his Faurés and Ravels are a delight. But don’t underestimate his German lieder either! Listening to his recording of Schumann’s Liederkreis from 1965, one cannot escape the thought that this music should go like this, and not otherwise. Just listen to his ‘In der Fremde’; I want to bet you cannot escape the feeling of being displaced yourself.
His Dichterliebe is just as beautiful: with his light baritone and his sweet, sweet sound he makes you actually fall in love. The recording dates from 1953 and in addition to the cycle we get three separate Schumann songs, including an interpretation of ‘Nussbaum’, which moves me to tears:
In these recordings Souzay’s then regular accompanist Jacqueline Bonneau accompanies him. After 1954 she gave way to Dalton Baldwin (Bonneau did not like travelling). Souzay had a kind of musical marriage with Baldwin. Their collaboration guarantees ultimate beauty