V2290. NINON VALLIN, Vol. VI, incl. Songs by Balakirev, Hahn & Fauré; Arias & Duets (w.Madeleine Sibille, Miguel Villabella & & André Baugé) from Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Manon, Faust, La Boheme & Tosca. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-236, recorded 1931-32, Pathé & French Odéon. Transfers by Yves St Laurent. Great transfers from pristine 78rpm copies, the sixth in a YSL series of some of Vallin’s rarest records!
"During the period between the two world wars, Ninon Vallin was unrivaled as the leading lyric soprano in France. Very good technically, she had an admirable art of singing with a style full of inflexion and modulation and was adept at colouring her voice. That voice had a compass of an easy two octaves of the lyric soprano, with free and natural emission, excellent breath control and a very beautiful timbre….Hers was a perfect legato and she was a mistress of portamento.”
- Alfred de Cock, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2003
“Ninon Vallin's idiomatic and 'typically French' approach to Gallic Opera roles and ‘Mélodies’ made Vallin a sensation in her native land. Her recordings were so popular that in the late 1920s the Pathé company issued them with her picture on the label, set in a handsome 'modernist' design. These records are highly popular with collectors, especially as the discs where she performed songs of Reynaldo Hahn and Joaquin Nín featured piano accompaniments played by the composers themselves. If your taste runs to the 'manière française', then you can hardly go wrong with the extensive recorded legacy of Ninon Vallin."
- Uncle Dave Lewis, allmusic.com
“Vallin’s trips back and forth between the Pathé and the Odeon recording studios, playing one company off against the other, were very much a calculated game to get the repertory she wanted to record. When she was asked how she was able to record such oddities (in France) as Norma, Mefistofele, ‘Frauenliebe und-Leben’, Richard Strauss songs, etc., [it was because she was able to switch] back and forth between the two companies, as evidenced by her flitting from Pathé to Odéon and back again, part of her bargaining stratagem….Vallin had a great affection for French operetta, and performed works by Lecocq, Massé, and Chabrier; she even ventured into music hall during the 1930s, singing at the Alhambra in Paris. Such was her popularity in her native country that she also appeared in a 1937 film, LA FILLE DE LA MADELON.”
- Victor Girard, Marston Program Notes
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent’s natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011
“St Laurent Studio has provided a fascinating snapshot…. Surface noise is retained, but its low level is easily assimilated into the listening experience.”
- Colin Clarke, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Spring, 2011