Sandrine Piau, soprano; Jos van Immerseel, piano

This album of Debussy mÉlodies, or songs, has several things going for it.

This album of Debussy mélodies, or songs, has several things going for it. Foremost is young French soprano Sandrine Piau's bright, bewitching voice and winningly native way with the poems of Verlaine and Mallarmé that the composer used for his cutting-edge songwriting; her stylishly piquant diction adds much to the enjoyment of this great music. Then there is accompanist Jos van Immerseel's period instrument: an 1897 Erard piano, which has a subtle, silvery tone, one that is very well-captured here. Debussy's songs are an intoxicating brew and addictive, too. A music lover could hardly do better than to enter his world with this lovely disc. With this release plus several more new and reissued titles, the French label group Naïve inaugurates a fresh distribution relationship for the U.S. with Naxos of America.—BB