V1882. MARY GARDEN: Mary Garden’s Complete Recordings, G & T (w.Claude Debussy), Edison Cylinders, Columbia & Victor, incl. brief 1943 Broadcast. (France) Malibran 196, recorded 1904-28. - 7600003771964
“The chance to hear a great singer in a rôle that she created from a recording, not previously known to the majority of collectors, is a rare treat! The recording on an Edison wax cylinder of Mary Garden singing a piece from CHÉRUBIN by Massenet is one such treasure and is reason enough to rush to order a copy of this CD transferred by Jean Nirouët for Malibran….Richard Bebb even doubted its existence, and to prove the point that it is no hoax, photographs of the cylinder and box are reproduced on the CD….It is announced by Garden herself in delightfully accented French, and sung in a clear, bright voice in a very forward recording from 1905, just two years after the Monte Carlo première….Clearly this CD is a ‘must’ for all collectors, if only for the CHÉRUBIN air, but the CD does give a very good overview of her career.”
- Richard Copeman, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2011
“Impressed with her voice, Carré invited Mary Garden to join the roster at the Opéra-Comique in 1900. Garden made her professional opera début with the company on 10 April, 1900 in the title rôle of Gustave Charpentier's LOUISE. Although Garden had been preparing the rôle, the début was unscheduled as she was a last minute replacement for Marthe Rioton who had become ill. From 1901 for two years, she carried on an affair with André Messager, who conducted her in LOUISE. She claimed that when the Opéra-Comique director Albert Carré asked her to marry him, she replied that she had someone else in her life – Messager. Her description is of a tempestuous relationship, but they remained friends until his death.
Persuaded by Oscar Hammerstein I to join his competition against the Metropolitan Opera, Garden quit her frequent Opéra-Comique engagements to join the Manhattan Opera House in New York City. She made her American début in the Manhattan Opera House on 25 November , 1907 in the title rôle in THAÏS, a rôle which fitted her personality and art like a glove. She further astounded American audiences with her uncanny portrayal of a young boy in Massenet's LE JONGLEUR DE NOTRE DAME (1908) and in the United States première of PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE.
Mary Garden made about 40 gramophone records between 1903 and 1929 for G & T, Columbia and Victor. They continue to be reissued and are of much interest to connoisseurs of historical recordings—although Garden herself was said to have been generally disappointed with the results. Of special interest are the four 1904 Black G&T recordings she made accompanied by Claude Debussy in Paris. There are also a small number of recordings made from radio broadcasts.”
- Z. D. Akron