Regine Crespin;  Lombard & Sebastian        (London 440 416)
Item# V0140
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Regine Crespin;  Lombard & Sebastian        (London 440 416)
V0140. REGINE CRESPIN, w.Lombard & Sebastian Cond.: Arias from Iphigenie en Tauride, La Damnation de Faust, Sapho, Carmen, La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein, La Belle Helene, La Perichole, Ciboulette, L'Amour Masque, Les Trois Valses & Phi-Phi. London 440 416, recorded 19670-71. Final Copy! - 028944041620


“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]

'Crespin's voice always wears mink." - Jeremy Sans

"R�gine 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 d�but 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 d�but 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 Br�nnhilde 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

"R�gine Crespin made her d�but in 1950 in Mulhouse as Elsa in LOHENGRIN, and the same year appeared in that r�le in Paris. After her d�but, she sang with the Paris Op�ra and in regional centres. Her big break was being chosen as Kundry in PARSIFAL at the 1958 Bayreuth Festival, despite the fact that she had not sung Wagner in German. To learn the r�le in German, she was coached by Lou Bruder, a professor of German literature who later became her husband. Notable subsequent parts added to her repertoire were Cassandre and Didon in Berlioz' LES TROYENS; CARMEN; Faur�'s P�N�LOPE; Gluck's IPHIG�NIE EN TAURIDE; Charlotte in Massenet's WERTHER; Offenbach's LA GRANDE-DUCHESSE DE G�ROLSTEIN; Madame Lidoine and Madame de Croissy in Poulenc's LES DIALOGUES DES CARM�LITES; TOSCA; the Countess in Tchaikovsky's PIQUE DAME; Kundry in Wagner's PARSIFAL, and Sieglinde and Br�nnhilde in his DIE WALK�RE. Above all, perhaps, she was loved for her Marschallin in Richard Strauss' DER ROSENKAVALIER. R�gine Crespin and Lou Bruder divorced after 11 years. Ms Crespin had no children. She retired from singing in 1989, but continued to teach until her death of liver cancer in 2007, in Paris."

- Z. D. Akron