Germaine Martinelli

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Germaine Martinelli

  • Marie-Magdeleine, ~, O mes soeurs
  • Marie-Magdeleine, ~, Aux pieds de l'innocent
  • (La) Damnation de Faust, ~, Autrefois un roi de Thulé
  • (La) Damnation de Faust, ~, D'amour l'ardente flamme
  • Ottone, Re di Germania, ~, Vieni, o figlio
  • Serse, 'Xerxes', ~, Fronde tenere
  • Serse, 'Xerxes', ~, Ombra mai fu (Largo)
  • Salammbo, Ah! qui me donnera (Air des Colombes)
  • Werther, ~, Werther! Qui m'aurait dit la place
  • Werther, ~, Des cris joyeux (Air des lettres)
  • Werther, ~, Va! Laisse couler
  • (Les) Béatitudes
  • (L') Enfant prodigue, Récit et Air de Lia, 'L'année en vain chasse l'année'
  • Nocturne
  • (4) Songs, No. 4, Les Roses d'Ispahan (wds. de Lisle)
  • Chènes des jardins
  • (La) Nuit bleue
  • (Die) Lustige Witwe, '(The) Merry Widow', ~, Es lebt eine Vilja, ein Waldmägdelein (Vilja-Lied: Hanna, Chorus)
  • Eva (Das Fabriksmädel), ~, Im heimlichen Dämmer der silbernen Ampel
  • Eva (Das Fabriksmädel), ~, Wär' es auch nichts als ein Augenblick

If Germaine Martinelli has come to the notice of record-buyers in the post-78rpm era it will probably have been on account of her duets from Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger and Die Walkure with Georges Thill, or maybe from the attractive introduction afforded in Vol. 3 of EMI’s “The Record of Singing” (10/85 – nla). That item, a rare solo from Massenet’s drame sacre (later given as an opera), Marie-Magdeleine, is chosen to open this present selection, and in it we recognize both a lovely voice and a sensitive artist. Less interesting in style and expression is her performance of Marguerite’s arias in La damnation de Faust, though here too the voice is finely produced. Charlotte in Werther emerges more clearly as a character, but all these records so far in conjunction make us wonder whether she was not more truly a mezzo-soprano. Lia’s aria in Debussy’s L’enfant prodigue shows that that was not so, and the utterly delightful solos from The Merry Widow and Eva cancel any last doubt. These and Faure’s Les Roses d’Ispahan are perhaps the gems of the collection.
Fine copies have been used (most of the originals are rare) and though some (the excerpts from Reyer’s Salammbo, for instance) strike me as hard and overbright in sound-quality, everything is certainly very clear. Patrick Bade’s notes provide the answers to many questions but leave several open. More is needed about the music itself (why is the solo from Salammbo the “Air des Colombes”?, who was Nerini, composer of La nuit bleue?, what was Laparra’s Chenes des Jardins?). Also it would be good to know more about the singer’s career. The last date mentioned is 1936 but she was still to be heard in Paris (at the Palais, de Chaillot, for instance, in La damnation de Faust) as late as the summer of 1945.'

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