Singing in Occitan. Beautifully.


A week or two ago I hear a recording on Radio Scotland of Dawn Upshaw singing ‪Baïlèro, one of the Songs from the Auvergne:

a collection of folk songs from the Auvergne region of France arranged for soprano voice and orchestra or piano by Joseph Canteloube between 1923 and 1930 […] in the local language, Occitan.

The song itself is beautiful, and Dawn Upshaw’s version gave me goose-bumps, it was so lovely. I couldn’t find it on YouTube, but I did find this version by Netania Davrath, which is just as exquisite.

Here’s a comment on her voice from Wikipedia, by music critic Rob Barnett

Her early recording of Joseph Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne is considered by many to be unsurpassed […] Her voice is tender, strong, nasal, arch, shy, abandoned, free from vibrato, pure and clean and distinctly un-operatic. […] Davrath’s facility in eight languages undoubtedly aids her interpretations which are always intelligent and which do not give the impression of being phonetically acquired.—Rob Barnett, music critic[2]

For language lovers (yes, there’s a language slant to this post!), the added bonus of this YouTube recording is that it shows the words of the song, in Occitan. I hope you enjoy it and that it brings a touch of springtime to this chilly Easter.

2 Responses to “Singing in Occitan. Beautifully.”

  1. Mi fai grando joio d’ausi aquesto belo voues canta en occitan.
    Adam Warren.

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