V1386. MARGUERITE MÉRENTIÉ: Songs by Marchetti, Tosti & Massenet; Arias from Ariane, Werther, Marie-Magdeleine, Le Cid (all Massenet), Salammbó, Samson et Dalila, Mignon, Faust, Carmen & Tannhäuser. (France) Malibran 695. - 3760003776957
“Marguerite Mérentié had been an immediate success. She made a most promising début at the Opéra in 1905 in the rôle of Chimène in LE CID, just one year after graduating from the Conservatoire national with first prize for singing and second prize for opera. She sang progressively heavier rôles at the Opéra, especially in contemporary French works, notably Ariane in the Massenet opera of the same name in 1907, and Salammbô in the same year. She became a noted Wagnerian, starting with Sieglinde in 1907, before going on to Brünnhilde and Isolde just before the First World War put a stop to opera in Paris and directly or indirectly to Mérentié’s own career. In the meantime, she had spent a few years at the Opéra-Comique, singing notably Carmen, which she recorded complete in 1911. In 1910 she sang Ariane in ARIANE ET BARBE-BLEUE, and later that year her first Tosca. In 1911 she created the title rôle in Albéric Magnard’s BÉRÉNICE.” Back at the Opéra, in 1912, she again sang Chimène in LE CID. Switching to the Gaîté Lyrique in April, she created the rôle of Naïl in Isidore de Lara’s opera of the same name. In 1913, she participated in the Opéra creation of Lalo’s SORTILÈGE, where she is said to have sung with real power and accuracy. A month later she was singing Armide, then in March her first Brünnhilde in LA VALKYRIE. In Paris she was regarded with the highest esteem. Mérentié left relatively few records.”
- John Humbley, Program notes to Marston’s LES FRÈRES DANILO
“Mérentié’s voice, dark but not weighty, focused and pliant, ranges seamlessly from a full but unbosomy lower range to a shining top that never glares or loses its focus. She sings with polish and an innate feel for the drama.”
- Robert Baxter, Marston liner notes
"Mérentié went directly from the Paris Conservatoire to the Opéra, making her début in 1905 as Chimène in LE CID. Thereafter she undertook other roles associated with Félia Litvinne, including Armide and Valentine in LES HUGUENOTS. At the Opéra she sang the title-role of Reyer’s Salammbô and created Ariane in the Massenet’s opera of that name. In 1909, she joined the Opéra-Comique. Her first appearance was as Carmen, a part she was later to sing in the first complete recording of the opera made by Pathé. At the Opéra-Comique she was heard Toinette in Leroux’s LE CHEMINEAU, Fanny in Massenet’s SAPHO, Tosca, Charlotte and Mlle Lange in LA FILLE DE MME ANGOT. While at the Opéra she sang Aïda, Sieglinde, Brünnhilde, Elisabeth in TANNHÄUSER and even Isolde in 1913. At the Opéra-Comique in 1911, she created the title-role of Albéric Magnard’s BÉRÉNICE. In 1909, she made her La Scala début in the title-role of Leroux’s THEODORA, but the première was a fiasco; the Milanaise public detested the music and there were no subsequent performances. In 1912, at the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Lyrique, she appeared in the title-role of Lara’s NAÏL.
In her recordings, the tone is pure throughout its range and the registers fully equalised. The voice sounds most agreably, the high notes are warm and fully rounded."
- Jean Ziegler