V1454. LES BARYTONS FRANCOPHONE du 19th SIÈCLE, incl. Léon Melchissédec, Jean Lassalle, Victor Maurel, Lucien Fugère, Valentin Soulacroix, Maurice Renaud, Jean Périer, Alexis Ghasne, Jean-Francisque Delmas, Jean Noté & Jean-Baptiste Faure. (France) Malibran 703. [Sheer enchantment in these marvelous displays of the now extinct French style.] - 3760003777039
“Thanks to the development of the phonograph around 1900,we have been bequeathed a wealth of evidence on the art of French singing at the century’s close. Although each artist who then recorded had a personal individual vocal timbre, musicality and verbal expression, they all shared a vocal technique of projection, clear diction and expressiveness. We thus have a roster of operatic creators which could help maintain an exemplary tradition. Almost all recorded acoustically on cylinder or disc; only Lucien Fugère with his longevity and lasting vocal powers recorded into the electrical era.
One must acknowledge that the baritone voice was better suited to the acoustic recording process than higher voices, some of whose frequencies went beyond the technical scope of the old machines. Here one can appreciate not only their vocal colour but also the legendary legato, which in no way impairs pronunciation or understanding of the text.
The only doubt arising from these rare early documents concerns the renowned singer-composer, Jean-Baptiste Faure who, born in 1830, was already a septuagenarian by 1900; the voice could have deteriorated but not the musicality. We do not accept the optimistic attribution expressed in earlier re-issues of this unauthenticated cylinder; we include it only as a filler ‘curiosity’ for listeners to decide for themselves.”
- Daniel Marty