Celine Dion began work on Encore un Soir in the summer of 2015 when her husband Rene Angelil was quite ill. He passed away in January 2016, around the midpoint of the sessions, so it could stand to reason the album was a way for Dion to work through her grief, but this French-language record isn't quite as simple as that. For one, Dion's art isn't strictly autobiographical; she may pour herself into her performances but a correlation between her personal life and her recordings isn't easy to draw. Secondly, Encore un Soir is evenly divided between pop tunes and ballads, not too dissimilar from her usual albums. That said, there's a certain sense of restraint and deliberateness to Encore un Soir that does give it an emotional pull.
This 2016 release followed on an immensely successful 2014 performance of the Fauré Requiem, Op. 48, and in many ways it's a partner to the earlier recording. The Fauré had a historical-performance aspect, re-creating the 1889 premiere even down to the specific organ stops used. In this case, historical performance is not involved: the version of the Duruflé Requiem performed is not the original, but a 1961 revision for mezzo-soprano, chorus, organ, and chamber orchestra. But the forces bring the music close to the overall effect of the Fauré, with boy sopranos of the Choir of King's College connecting the two performances. In both recordings, the organ is brought to the foreground and issues almost electronic-like sounds that shoot beams of mystic light through the small Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. It's gorgeous, and it might easily result in a revival for this version of the work. Conductor Stephen Cleobury does wonderfully with his mezzo-soprano soloist: for sampling, you could luxuriate in the "Pie Jesu," with its restrained instrumental backing making the music less operatic and more cantata-like. You also get a pair of little-known Duruflé works, the Quatre Motets sur des thèmes Grégoriens, Op. 10, and the Messe "Cum jubilo," Op. 11, with chorus, organ, and one soloist; each of these could challenge the conception of Duruflé as a one-hit wonder. Yet the biggest news here is the Duruflé Requiem itself, and the way the work retains its slightly otherworldly quality in this intimate version.
Après deux EP remarqués ("Non mais oui 1/2" et "Non mais oui 2/2") sortis en février et octobre 2014, la pop lumineuse et décomplexée de Cléa Vincent est de retour dans ce premier album attendu, «Retiens mon désir ».