After a number of appearances in Alpha productions (notably as a sublime Alcina in the DVD conducted by Christophe Rousset and staged by Pierre Audi at La Monnaie), Sandrine Piau now joins the label for several recordings. With Chimère, she invites us on a voyage into the intimate and infinite territory of dreams. ‘Chimera: an illusory, unsatisfied quest, the graveyard of our illusions...’ She and her longstanding partner, the pianist Susan Manoff, have thought up a programme combining the German lied (Hugo Wolf, one of Schumann’s Mignon songs, a scene from Goethe’s Faust by Carl Loewe), Mélodies by Debussy and Poulenc (his Banalités), and Art Songs by Barber along with discoveries of more rarely heard composers like Ivor Gurney and the Dickinson Songs of André Previn – the celebrated American conductor is less well-known for his compositions, which include this magnificent cycle written for Renée Fleming. Equally at home in French, German and English, Sandrine Piau is at the peak of her artistry. Fantoches, Clair de Lune, Solitary Hotel, Will there really be a morning?: set out for the world of dreams following this unique poetic itinerary. ‘The land of chimeras is the only one in this world worth living in’ (Jean-Jacques Rousseau).

Diapason Or award GRAMOPHONE Editor's Choice award Le choix de France Musique award Choc Classica award Diapason d'Or 2018 award Choc Classica 2018 award

"Sandrine Piau seems to have the same deep understanding, and the four songs here, one to a text by Eichendorff, the other three by Mörike, are real gems: the sensitive Verschwiegene Liebe, the exquisite Das verlassene Mägdlein and the dramatic Lied vom Winde has to rank with the best readings of these oft-recorded songs."
MusicWeb International
"Piau provides a delicate tone that belies a certain tensile strength, and Manoff’s playing brings out colours and textures beyond mere support."
Opera Now, July 2018
""One listen to Piau's absolutely exquisite rendition of Carl Loewe's "Ach neige, du Schmerzenreiche," which opens the program, will convince you of the soprano's impeccable phrasing, subtlety of nuance, and ability to convey the deepest of emotions while retaining the refined beauty of her vocal production."
Stereophile, July 2018
"Sandrine Piau’s delicious new album, ‘Chimère’, a song by Samuel Barber in which her lovely French accent is a delight."
Gramophone
"Piau’s is a voice that can bloom sensuously at the top, and which she controls exquisitely...this is one of the most fascinating, satisfying and moving recital discs to have come my way for some time. It’s beautifully recorded too"
Gramophone
"The persistent ‘Baroque specialist’ label hardly sums up this distinguished French soprano. With her distinctively radiant, secure tone and cut-crystal upper range, her repertoire has always been much wider."
BBC Music magazine
"It’s always a special pleasure to welcome an intelligently programmed and beautifully presented song recital, and this latest disc from soprano Sandrine Piau and pianist Susan Manoff ranks with the very best"
Europadisc
"Piau provides a delicate tone that belies a certain tensile strength, and Manoff’s playing brings out colours and textures beyond mere support. Their programme, ranging from Schumann through Debussy to Previn, is judiciously chosen and beautifully executed."
Opera Now
"It's unfailingly beautiful, but without ever lapsing into blandness: Piau’s light soprano is as fresh and pure as when she burst onto the scene in the mid-1990s, and she’s especially captivating in the mercurial Wolf settings and the indolent languor of Poulenc’s Hôtel."
Presto Classical
"Highly agreeable recital. As in the two previous recitals she is accompanied by the eminent Susan Manoff, whose playing is a wonder of clarity and accuracy.” “The lavishly illustrated 90-page hardback book + CD makes this an even more attractive proposition."
MusicWeb International