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What are you currently listening to?

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Author Topic: What are you currently listening to?  (Read 74761 times)
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« Reply #3480 on: May 14, 2022, 12:29:46 am »

Gounod: Faust  Marston 3 cd's (Or another incredibly ancient recording you can't wait to add to your collection!! Grin )

Faust   Léon Beyle
Méphistophélès   André Gresse
Valentin   Jean Noté
Wagner   Pierre Dupré
Marguerite   Jeanne Campredon
Siebel   Marguerite d’Elty
Marthe   Jeanne Goulancourt
François Ruhlmann, conductor

The best recording of Gounod's masterpiece! (Oh,no! Here we go again! Roll Eyes) Okay,the best c1911/12!! Grin Although,if it wasn't for it's obvious sonic limitation's I think it would be a possible candidate? Question: Why?!! It's over a hundred years old for goodness sake! Well! (Scratching my head! Grin) The authenticity of the French cast,who were among the finest in Paris,typical of the Paris Opera roster,and all closely associated with the opera (with one notable exception,which I will get to shortly).  Indeed,Jeanne Campredon had made the role of Marguerite her own at the time of the recording. André Gresse had been one of the foremost exponents of the role of Méphistophélès,since 1901. The Belgian baritone Jean Noté had been playing the part of Valentin since 1896. Marguerite d’Elty had been an opera favourite as Siebel .And Jeanne Goulancourt a noted Dame Marthe! The notable exception,I referred to earlier,being,Léon Beyle,who sings the title role and who had switched allegiance to the Opéra-Comique early in his career and had not performed Faust in Paris. As the booklet points out, "the repertoires of the two Paris houses were mutually exclusive, and Faust was the strict prerogative of the Opéra".  Pathé  had several tenors on their roster who had distinguished themselves in the role so why they chose a tenor from the  Opéra-Comique is a minor mystery. The booklet goes on to say that it is possible Léon Beyle had sung the role in his youth in Lyon (at the conservatory there) from which he originated. He had also recorded "solo & concerted extracts from the opera". So it's obvious he had some experience in the role.
Faust was first performed at the Paris’s Théâtre-Lyrique in 1859. It ran to 57 performances.It then toured France and Germany. Surprisingly,it wasn't until March 3rd 1869 that it was finally performed at theParis Opéra at the Salle Le Peletier. So,in terms of authenticity this is about as close as you can get!

So,if you can be bothered to read that Grin,(I wouldn't!?!! Grin) that explains why this recording would be a possible candidate for a top choice........if it wasn't for the 1911/12 recording technology! The performance is a very lively one indeed & obviously very well sung. It must have been difficult to perform standing around a large horn,but having to get everything right in one take adds an element of spontaneity to the result. As to the sound! It's not just the swish of shellack here! You've got the rumble of cylinder! That said,Ward Marston,who is considered to be one of the world's leading expert's has done an amazing job in transfering these truly ancient cylinder recordings to compact disc. The booklet accompanying the set is a model of it's kind with lots of interesting photos of the soloists & a bonus track's of solo numbers from the opera recorded by various singers from around the period of the recording. Some as early as 1903!

Need I add?!! Roll Eyes Grin This wasn't the first complete recording! The first complete recording dating from 1908,sung in German,with Emmy Destinn as Margarethe. Available as a 2 cd set from Marston. I haven't got it though! Sad But I do have it on 2 cd-r's (I think I downloaded it from Amazon?).

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