Lise Arséguet

  • LiseArseguet
  • LiseArseguetLP
  • Lise Arséguet IVC 1960
  • Arseguet in 'Poèmes pour mi'

Even the supporters of rival soprano Irene Torbus-Mierzwiak agreed that, judging on lines of artistry and interpretation, French soprano Lise Arséguet fully deserved her First Prize. She had first impressed the Jury during the semi finals, with two works by contemporary composer Olivier Messiaen (whose music would soon become her calling card). During the finals, she impressed with a daring selection of contemporary compositions. An excerpt of François Poulenc’s Stabat Mater followed Albert Roussel’s ‘Sarabande’; Arséguet concluded her test with an aria from Giancarlo Menotti’s opera The consul. Even if that is not the material for an international career in popular opera, the Jury explicitly stated by word of President Manus Willemsen, that artistry had been this year’s prime criterion. Therefore it would be odd to measure the weight of Lise Arséguet’s career only in terms of popularity with a wider audience. Rather, I refer here to the fame she achieved as n interpreter of contemporary music, often in direct contact with composers. Even if her discography is likewise modest, we gladly let Olivier Messiaen speak for her; he chose Arséguet her for the landmark 1964 recording of his song cycle ‘Poèmes pour mi,’ with himself on the piano.


Olivier Messiaen: ‘Poèmes pour mi’ (excerpt)
Lise Arséguet (soprano), Olivier Messiaen (piano) (LP Deutsche Harmonia Mundi HMO 30.543)