Rachmaninov 24 Preludes

Two historical issues of allied interest: the lyric tenors in the best period of French singing on record. Rare and valuable material, well transferred

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Charles-François Gounod, Daniel-François-Esprit Auber, Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet, (Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes, Emile Pessard, César Franck, Johann Paul Aegidius Martini, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, André (Charles Prosper) Messager, Barbirolli, Reynaldo Hahn, (Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas, (François) Adrien Boïeldieu, Charles (Louis Eugène) Koechlin, Herman Bemberg, Roubaud, Gioachino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi, (Pietro) Francesco Cavalli, Jean-Baptiste (Théodore) Weckerlin, Pietro Mascagni, Georges Bizet, Charles-Marie(-Jean-Albert) Widor, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Franz Schubert, Edvard Grieg, Traditional, Julien Tiersot, Ferdinando Paer, Théodore (François Clement) Dubois, Emile Bourgeois, Hector Berlioz

Label: Romophone

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

ADD

Catalogue Number: 82016-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Roméo et Juliette, 'Romeo and Juliet' Charles-François Gounod Composer
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Léon David
(La) Muette de Portici (Masaniello) Daniel-François-Esprit Auber Composer
Léon David
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Manon (Anonymous) Orchestra
Edmond Clément
Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
Lakmé (Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Edmond Clément
(L')Adieu du matin Emile Pessard Composer
Edmond Clément
(Anonymous) Orchestra
(Le) Mariage des roses César Franck Composer
Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Plaisir d'amour Johann Paul Aegidius Martini Composer
Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
(Le) Mage Edmond Clément
Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Romance Anonymous Pianist(s)
Claude Debussy Composer
Edmond Clément
(2) Songs Anonymous Pianist(s)
Gabriel Fauré Composer
Edmond Clément
Les adieux (Anonymous) Orchestra
Edmond Clément
Gabriel Fauré Composer
(La) Basoche (Anonymous) Orchestra
André (Charles Prosper) Messager Composer
Edmond Clément
Lakmé Edmond Clément
(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Je ne veux que des fleurs Barbirolli Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Edmond Clément
Mai (Anonymous) Orchestra
Edmond Clément
Reynaldo Hahn Composer
(Le) cimetière de campagne Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Reynaldo Hahn Composer
Mignon Léon David
(Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas Composer
Anonymous Pianist(s)
(La) Dame blanche Edmond Clément
(Anonymous) Orchestra
(François) Adrien Boïeldieu Composer
Si tu le veux Charles (Louis Eugène) Koechlin Composer
Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
(Il) neige Herman Bemberg Composer
Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Il est d'étranges soirs Edmond Clément
Roubaud Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
(Il) Barbiere di Siviglia, '(The) Barber of Seville' Léon David
Gioachino Rossini Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Rigoletto Léon David
Brass Ensemble
Giuseppe Verdi Composer
Donzelle fuggite (Anonymous) Orchestra
Edmond Clément
(Pietro) Francesco Cavalli Composer
(La) Basoche (Anonymous) Orchestra
André (Charles Prosper) Messager Composer
Edmond Clément
Manon Léon David
Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
D'une prison (Anonymous) Orchestra
Edmond Clément
Reynaldo Hahn Composer
L'amour s'envole Jean-Baptiste (Théodore) Weckerlin Composer
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Edmond Clément
Cavalleria rusticana Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Pietro Mascagni Composer
Manon Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Edmond Clément
Carmen Anonymous Pianist(s)
Léon David
Georges Bizet Composer
Werther Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
Edmond Clément
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Romances et Chansons du XVIII siècle Anonymous Pianist(s)
Edmond Clément
Jean-Baptiste (Théodore) Weckerlin Composer
Roméo et Juliette, 'Romeo and Juliet' Anonymous Pianist(s)
Léon David
Charles-François Gounod Composer
Il primo amore Anonymous Pianist(s)
Edmond Clément
Charles-Marie(-Jean-Albert) Widor Composer
Amadis Edmond Clément
Jean-Baptiste Lully Composer
Anonymous Pianist(s)
(Die) Forelle Franz Schubert Composer
Edmond Clément
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Melodies of the Heart Anonymous Pianist(s)
Edmond Clément
Edvard Grieg Composer
(L')Adieu du matin Anonymous Pianist(s)
Edmond Clément
Emile Pessard Composer
Manon (Anonymous) Orchestra
Léon David
Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
Romances et Chansons du XVIII siècle Anonymous Pianist(s)
Edmond Clément
Jean-Baptiste (Théodore) Weckerlin Composer
Romances et Chansons du XVIII siècle Jean-Baptiste (Théodore) Weckerlin Composer
Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
(Les) Filles de la Rochelle Anonymous Pianist(s)
Traditional Composer
Edmond Clément
Mignon (Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Léon David
En passant par la Lorraine Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Julien Tiersot Composer
Werther Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
Edmond Clément
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Hélas, c'est près de vous Anonymous Pianist(s)
Ferdinando Paer Composer
Edmond Clément
Rondel Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Théodore (François Clement) Dubois Composer
(La) véritable manola Léon David
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Emile Bourgeois Composer
Ariettes oubliées Edmond Clément
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Claude Debussy Composer
(La) Basoche André (Charles Prosper) Messager Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Edmond Clément
Poème d'Avril Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
Anonymous Pianist(s)
Edmond Clément
(Les) Nuits d'été (Anonymous) Orchestra
Hector Berlioz Composer
Edmond Clément
Werther Léon David
Jules (Emile Frédéric) Massenet Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra

Composer or Director: Sergey Rachmaninov

Label: Pan

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: 510 062

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(24) Preludes Sergey Rachmaninov Composer
Patrizio Mazzola
Whoever may have it in mind to improve upon previous attempts to chart a way through the history of recorded vocal art will find valuable material here for their chapter on the French lyric tenor. The recordings come from a time when the national school flourished, its features well defined, its contribution distinctive and distinguished. Where the Italians brought passion, the French brought elegance, and in this respect the lyric tenors typified the school as a whole. The voices were clean-cut, kept light and free of the throat. The singers were trained, often more thoroughly than Italians, in the traditional accomplishments; in style they made much of nuance and a natural interplay between notes and words. Unless they went abroad to the great international houses, they sang practically everything in their native language, so that music, whether German, Italian or even Russian, was fitted to suit the French tongue and the French idea of singing and song. The future historian will draw on wider resources in tracing subsequent developments, but these two new issues provide ample material for making a start on the first 25 years.
The key figure is Edmond Clement. With their previous volume (8/95) containing the 1905 Odeons and later Victor recordings, Romophone can now offer a unique edition of a tenor whose career ran from the last years of the 19th century (when he was censured by G B Shaw for rowdyism) to shortly before his death in 1928 at the age of 60. The four songs recorded in 1925 show that his voice and production (as Max de Schauensee reported) were scarcely affected by age; and his last record of all (appropriately, of Faure’s ‘Les adieux’) catches with wonderful naturalness the slim, supple tones of earlier years when he was the most admired, and the highest paid, member of the Opera-Comique.
A prime example of his art is the air from La dame blanche, the opening phrases ideally graceful, the runs articulated with the clarity and evenness of McCormack in ‘Il mio tesoro’. McCormack comes to mind in the soft high notes of Berlioz’s ‘Absence’ and in the solos from Lakme where he also matches the poise of Tito Schipa. As such comparisons must suggest, Clement is himself a touchstone, a setter of standards and a reference-point for others of his kind.
These include each of the remaining tenors heard on these discs. Leon David was Clement’s contemporary and rival; Louis Cazette (one of the three on Marston’s set) for a brief while the nearest to being his successor; Charles Friant was an individualist but still part of the school; and Jean Marny represents it at a more workaday level, less polished but still stylish and very French.
David, whose records are (I believe) collected here for the first time complete, is worth hearing on several counts: he takes the phrase in Don Jose’s Flower song rising to the soft B flat in a way that shows just what Bizet would have had in mind, his opening of ‘Ah! fuyez, douce image’ in Manon is magically indrawn, and the cavatina from Il barbiere di Siviglia (or Le barbier de Seville) has the fluency and tastefulness of a singer schooled in the best traditions. Cazette, he of the youthful glory and tragically early death, was a later product of the same school. All that remains of him is here in these 11 items, but they are sufficient for us to appreciate his quality, with the solo from Griselidis confirmed as one of the most attractive tenor recordings of all. Friant, the great Werther of his time (and perhaps of any other), is heard in some early discs, striking in the fervour of their emotion as well as the fine exercise of chiaroscuro: a delightful rarity is the song Aimons-nous by Saint-Saens. Marny, who was the Des Grieux of the first complete Manon on records, is the least special, but it is good to hear him in duet with Ninon Vallin and in his creator’s role in the intriguingly entitled La rotisserie de la reine Pedauque.
Add to these the names and records of Albert Vaguet and David Devries and you have a very fair conspectus of the voice, the school and the period. In both issues the transfers are fine, and both are presented with informative and well-illustrated booklets – concerning which the only regret is that space could not have been found for a brief note on the texts and contexts of the rarer operatic excerpts.
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