OP2098. LES TROYENS À CARTAGE (Berlioz), Broadcast 1947, w.Beecham Cond. BBC Ensemble & Royal Phil.; Marisa Ferrer, Irène Joachim, Jean Giraudeau, Charles Cambon, Franz Vroons, etc. (England) (France) 3-Malibran 162.
"We may suppose that during a career of virtually 60 years, Sir Thomas Beecham must surely have achieved all his aspirations. Perhaps not quite! Clearly he always hoped to conduct a fully staged version of Berlioz LES TROYENS at a great opera house – and preferably Covent Garden. There is no space here to go into the detail of his lengthy and sometimes tortuous relationship with the UK’s leading opera house, but we do know that Beecham hoped to conduct the work in the 1940 season and had even sent his assistant Bertha Geissmar to Paris to listen to, and perhaps recruit, singers. Other events intruded: after Beecham’s grand opera season in 1939, Covent Garden did not re-open until 1946. When the new state opera company was established the following year, Beecham was ignored. Thirteen years later he was to have conducted a revival of the production first conducted by Kubelík, only for ill-health and death to intervene. However, this version mounted by the BBC in June/July 1947 was preserved on acetate recordings. These have now been transferred in very acceptable sound to this new CD set."
– Stanley Henig,CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Autumn, 2010
“In his autobiography A MINGLED CHIME, Sir Thomas Beecham gives an account [that] while waiting for a chance to introduce an opera of his own to the impresario of a newly established touring opera company in 1902, he found himself called in to provide a piano accompaniment for a soprano who had not brought her music with her, auditioning for the part of Marguerite. He was able to accompany her from memory and when it turned out that he knew all the operas planned for the season and had accompanied the impresario himself in a series of favourite tenor arias, for which he offered increasing praise, he found himself engaged as second conductor for the tour. His services to opera in England were very considerable, from the days of the Beecham Symphony Orchestra before the war, to the foundation in 1915 of the Beecham Opera Company, and in the 1930s an association with Covent Garden. Having lost control of his London Philharmonic Orchestra, which had become self-governing, Beecham established his own Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1946, after war years spent largely in New York. In the same year Covent Garden re-opened, not under Beecham, who had had artistic control until 1939, but under Karl Rankl."
- Ned Ludd
“The vocal interest in this recording lies with the soprano Marisa Ferrer [whose] voice is of thrilling power and focus and, I would have thought, ideally phonogenic, but she inexplicably made only one commercial record.”
- Patrick Bade, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2011
“In the firmament of model French singers, Charles Cambon figures amongst the greatest. Thanks to the good instincts of certain artistic directors, this voice of exceptional timbre, power and range has been preserved for us in all its splendour.
Charles Cambon joined the chorus at l’Opéra in 1923, amking his solo début a year later in a small role in BORIS GODUNOV. He would remain thrity years in this illustrious theatre, making an impression as Amonasro, Valentin, Ottokar in DER FREISCHÜTZ, as Sylvio in PAGLIACCI and as the Dutchman. He appeared only once at l’Opéra-Comique as a memorable Zurga in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES. But it was radio and records that brought him fame. True opera-lovers never missed the broadcasts in which he starred, admiring his diction, his fearlessness, his fabulous top notes but also his sensibility and his dramatic instincts in the greatest roles; Rigoletto, Luna in IL TROVATORE, Athanaël, Iago and of course Hamlet.
Charles Cambon died in Paris on 17 September,1965. He lives on, thanks to recordings, as one of the most admired baritones of the French vocal tradition.”
- Jean Ziegler