Last year marked the centenary of the first collaboration between Les Six – the group of six composers who gathered around Eric Satie. Five of the six composers were French – Auric, Durey, Milhaud, Poulenc and Tailleferre; the exception was Honegger who was Swiss. That first collaboration was a selectin of solo piano pieces under the title L’Album des Six . The following they collaborated on a ballet, Les M ariésde la Tour Eiffel .

Les Six

In their first recorded disc together, Swiss soprano Franziska Heinzen (a recent Britten-Pears young artist) and pianist Benjamin Mead have decided to celebrate the group in a fine recital of solo piano pieces and mélodies .

Ingeniously programmed, each of the six composers is presented in alphabetical order with each introduced by a solo piano piece played with suitable colour and wit.  Heinzen has an attractive soprano voice without resorting to unnecessary bother. All selections display a complete understanding of the French idiom, sung directly and without affect. Similarly, her understanding and approach to the text is both idiomatic and sympathetic in what can often be...