OP0124. IPHIGENIE EN TAURIDE, Live Performance, 29 May, 1964, w.Sébastian Cond. Teatro Colon Ensemble; Régine Crespin, Guy Chauvet, Robert Massard, Victor de Narke, etc.; Régine Crespin, w.Tomasi Cond.: Sampiero Corso ï¿½ Endors-toi, mon chéri (Cond. by the Composer); w.José Luccioni; Sébastian Cond.: Otello - Gia nella notte densa; w.Delusseux, Germain, Hamel & Cussac; Inghelbrecht Cond.: Cosi fan Tutte - Excerpts. (Portugal) 2-Gala 100.595. Final Sealed Copy!
"Even if the sound quality and orchestral performance are not ideal, this is a highly recommendable disc not just for anyone who loves Regine Crespin, but for everyone interested in the precious recorded legacy of an almost vanished performance tradition.
- Robert Hugill, musicwebinternational
"To be sure, one of the remarkable assets of Crespin's singing was the power and size of the voice. She could compete on even grounds with Nilsson when they sang together in DIE WALKURE, and with Corelli in WERTHER.
But there was much, much more to Crespin than sheer visceral impact. She sang with subtlety, a variety of colors depending on the demands of the music and the dramatic moment, and always with real involvement. Her singing was filled with nuance, with a wide range of dynamic shading, and was always founded on a beautiful glowing tone."
- Henry Fogel, Program Notes, Immortal Performances Set [V2547]
"Régine Crespin, the French operatic soprano and later mezzo-soprano, one of the most important vocal artists to emerge from France in the decades after World War II was widely admired for the elegance, warmth and subtlety of her singing, especially in the French and German operatic repertories. Early on, the natural carrying power of her voice seemed to point to a career as a dramatic soprano. Indeed, she made her 1950 debut at the regional company in Mulhouse, France, singing Elsa in Wagner's LOHENGRIN. Yet Ms Crespin's singing was imbued with nuanced phrasing, telling attention to text, creamy lyricism and lovely high pianissimos. While she had an enveloping voice, she always seemed to keep something in reserve, leading some listeners to sense a touch too much French restraint. But most opera buffs valued Ms Crespin for the effortless richness, lyrical nobility and subtle colorings of her singing. She was also a sophisticated actress whose Junoesque presence commanded attention. Ms Crespin's Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1962 as the Marschallin in DER ROSENKAVALIER, directed by the soprano Lotte Lehmann, who had been the most renowned interpreter of the role. Reviewing Ms Crespin's portrayal, the NEW YORK TIMES critic Harold C. Schonberg wrote that she gave 'a simply beautiful performance' [enriched with]'all kinds of delicate shading'. But when she let out her full voice, he added, it 'soared over the orchestra and all over the house - big, confident and beautiful'. In 1967 she sang Sieglinde to Birgit Nilsson's Brünnhilde at the Met, with Herbert von Karajan conducting a production that he also directed. Reviewing that performance for THE TIMES of London, the critic Conrad L. Osborne wrote that 'Nilsson and Crespin spurring each other on make for the sort of thing one remembers with a chill for years'. In later life Ms Crespin won wide recognition as a voice teacher. During some 1995 master classes at the Mannes College of Music in New York, the students were enraptured not only by her insightful critiques, but by her insider tales about opera stars."
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 6 July, 2007
"[Crespin] was surely one of the greatest French singers of the 20th Century; in fact - one of the great singers on records, one whose art goes well beyond the merely vocal. Beyond its size, [her voice] had a beautiful shimmer about it, a glowing quality present in all registers."
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE, March/April, 2005
"French tenor Guy Chauvet in 1954 he was co-winner of a tenor competition in Cannes, along with Alain Vanzo, Gustave Botiaux, Tony Poncet, and Roger Gardes - a pretty impressive assemblage of talent! Chauvet made his Paris OpÃ©ra debut in 1959, starting with comprimario parts, finally advancing to lead roles. He soon established himself as an important presence, both in France and, ultimately, in many of the world's other major opera houses. He sang numerous roles in the French and Italian repertoire, and became particularly well-known for such heroic parts as Aeneas and Samson.
Guy Chauvet was without question a talented singer, and one who filled a pressing need during a time when the grand tradition of the French heroic tenor was in decline. Typical of this singer's work in general, the diction is idiomatic and crystal-clear....Chauvet displays all of the other qualities that are the heart and soul of great French tenor singing - a seamless legato, a masterful application of the mixed voice, and an ideal balance between elegance and passion. It's also quite impressive to hear Chauvet demonstrate an ease and mastery of style and technique in music ranging from the 18th century to verismo. And if all of these attributes inspire comparison to Chauvet's great predecessor, Georges Thill, the singing on this disc justifies such comparisons. We hear some absolutely first-rate French tenor singing. Highly recommended."
- K. M., classicalcdreview, Sept., 2004
"Massard made his professional debut at the Paris Opéra in 1952, as the High Priest in SAMSON ET DALILA, shorthly followed by Valentin in FAUST. The same year, he also made his debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, as Thoas in IPHIGENIE EN TAURIDE. His career rapidly took an international dimension with debuts in 1955, at La Scala and the Glyndebourne Festival, both as Ramiro in L'HEURE ESPAGNOLE. Oreste in IPHIGENIE EN TAURIDE was his debut role at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Edinburgh Festival. Massard also appeared in North and South America, notably at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, at Carnegie Hall and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Henceforth considered one of the best French baritones of his generation, he was internationally acclaimed as Valentin in FAUST, Escamillo in CARMEN, Fieramosca in BENVENUTO CELLINI, and Golaud in PELLEAS ET MELISANDE."
- Ned Ludd