OP2670. CARMEN, Live Performance, 9 Nov., 1942, w.Inghelbrecht Cond. Marseille Ensemble; Germaine Cernay, Raymond Berthaud, Ginette Guillamat, Lucien Lovano, Jean Planel, etc.; Inghelbrecht Cond. L'Arlésienne - Suite #2; Benezech Cond. Carlo Ciabrini (T): Agnus Dei - recorded 1998, Paris. (France) 2-Malibran 172. Final copy! - 3760003771723
"The [above] 1942 Cernay-Inghelbrecht broadcast...cuts much of the dialogue but emerges as the most persuasive Opéra-Comique CARMEN recorded since the acoustic era."
- London Green, OPERA QUARTERLY, Summer, 2003
“Germaine Cernay was born Germaine Pointu in Le Havre, studied at the Paris Conservatory with Henri Albers and Émile Engel, making her début at the Opéra-Comique in 1927 in the Paris première of Alfano’s RESURREZIONE, opposite Mary Garden and René Maison. Her Salle Favart roles included Charlotte (WERTHER), Margared (LE ROI D’YS), Mignon, Suzuki (MADAMA BUTTERFLY), and Mallika (LAKMÉ). Outside of France she appeared in Belgium and Switzerland, as well as in North Africa. In 1942 she sang the role of Geneviève in the first complete recording of PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE under the baton of Roger Désormière. Cernay died prematurely a year later in Paris.”
- Vincent Giroud, Program Notes to Marston's FIREBIRDS OF PARIS
“Cernay made her début at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 16 May 1927 as la Bossue in the Paris premiere of Alfano’s RISURREZIONE (in French). Other creations at the Salle Favart were Floriane in ÉROS VAINQUEUR (de Bréville), la Tour in LE FOU DE LA DAME (Delannoy), a fairy in RIQUET A LA HOUPPE (Hue), and Léonor in LE SICILIEN (Letorey). Her other principal roles at the Opéra-Comique included Sélysette (ARIANE ET BARBE-BLEUE), a sister (BÉATRICE), Gertrude (LE ROI DAGOBERT), la fantôme (LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN), Mallika (LAKMÉ), Javotte (MANON), title role in MIGNON, Souzouki (MADAMA BUTTERFLY), Vincenette/Taven (MIREILLE), Geneviève (PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE), Cléone (PÉNÉLOPE), Charlotte (WERTHER) and one of the voices in MASQUES ET BERGAMASQUES. She was invited to many provincial centres in France and also appeared in North Africa, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Ireland and Italy. Broadcasting on French radio allowed Cernay to enlarge her repertoire to roles in CARMEN, LE ROI D’YS, LE CHEMINEAU, LA DAMNATION DE FAUST, DON QUICHOTTE and LA LÉPREUSE. She also sang in the first performance of surviving fragments of Chabrier's VAUCOCHARD ET FILS on 22 April 1941 at the Salle du Conservatoire. Cernay was one of best-known concert altos of her generation and highly considered as a Bach interpreter. She appeared regularly with the Orchestre de la Societé des Concerts du Conservatoire from 1931 to 1942. Her first and last appearances with the orchestra were as alto soloist in the Bach MAGNIFICAT, and in 1936 she sang in two performances of the Mass in b minor. She retired in 1942 to become a nun. A year later she died of status epilepticus."
“Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht was one of the most prominent French conductors of the first half of the twentieth century and a leading champion of the work of composer Claude Debussy. His family was musical: His father was a viola player in the Opéra de Paris and his mother was a pianist and violinist. They taught him the violin early on and enrolled him in the Paris Conservatory's courses on solfège and harmony under Taudou. For whatever reason, after several years there, he was expelled on the ground of ‘musical ineptitude’.
This did not prevent him from getting a musical job, for he joined an orchestra as a violinist. He learned the art of conducting from observation and self-study and débuted as a conductor in 1908 at the Théâtre des Arts. He became friends with Debussy, who asked him to prepare the choruses for the première of LE MARTYR DE ST. SÉBASTIEN in 1911. After this, he became director of music at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in 1913. In that position, he conducted the first French-language production of Mussorgsky's BORIS GODUNOV.
He remained closely associated with theater music throughout his conducting career. Two major exceptions came in 1928 to 1932 when he led the Pas de Loup Concerts and after 1934, the year in which he founded the Orchestra National de la Radiodiffusion Française. This orchestra, whose name is sometimes given as the French Radio Orchestra or the O.R.F. (later O.R.T.F. Orchestra), is one of Paris' leading orchestras and the country's premier broadcast orchestra. He had two terms as its musical director, 1934 - 1944 and 1951 - 1958. His theatrical appointments included the Ballets Suédois (or Swedish Ballet, a French group despite its name) (1920 - 1923), the Opéra-Comique (1924 - 1925, 1932 - 1933), the Algiers Opéra (1929 - 1930), and the Paris Opéra (1945 - 1950). Throughout his life, he was regarded as the primary champion of Debussy's opera PÉLLEAS ET MÉLISANDE and his recording of it is recognized as an authentic representation of the style of its original performances. He was also a prolific composer in a style similar to those of Debussy or late Fauré, with subtle, clear orchestration. His best-known composition is LE NURSERY (1905 - 1911), a five-volume piano suite that he also orchestrated.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com