OP0258. LE PRÉ AUX CLERCS (Hérold), recorded 13 June, 1959, w.Benedetti Cond. Berthe Monmart, Denise Boursin, Joseph Peyron, Claudine Collart, Camille Maurane, Gaston Rey, Lucien Lovano, etc.: LE MULETIER, recorded 26 Sept., 1968, w.Marty Cond. André Mallabrera, Joseph Peyron, Lina Dachary, Claudine Collart, etc. (France) Musidisc ARB 202012. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 3229262020121
"LE PRÉ AUX CLERCS is a very tuneful work that provides wonderful opportunities for talented sopranos légères as can be heard on this Malibran compilation of a French radio broadcast from 13 June, 1959. In the famous scene for Mergy, Sénéchal's performance is brilliantly sung in a style that has now disappeared. Sénéchal was a great favourite at lï¿½Ora and Opéra-Comique: he is almost as multi-talented as Peyron. From the complete version, we have the chance to hear one of the lesser-known singers at the Paris Opéra and Opéra-Comique during the nineteen-fifties, Denise Boursin. Her Isabelle is notable for the sheer beauty of a voice which combines purity with warmth. Renée Doria's high coloratura soprano is renowned for its formidable pyrotechnic skills and vocal range. Both approaches are valid, and to hear them is a joy....Much more could be written about this very welcome addition to the Malibran catalogue, but collectors of French opera and singers may be assured that it is a considerable bargain for those who did not already posses its contents."
- Robert Bunyard, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2016
"LE PRÉ AUX CLERCS (The Scribe's Meadow) is an opéra comique in three acts by Ferdinand Hérold with a libretto by François-Antoine-Eugène de Planard based on Prosper Mérimé's CHRONIQUE DU TEMPS DE CHARLES IX of 1829. LE PRÉ AUX CLERCS was premiered in Paris by the Opéra-Comique at the Salle de la Bourse on 15 December, 1832. However, after the first performance, Madame Casimir refused - possibly demanding more money - to sing in the subsequent performances, and Mlle Dorus of the Opéra was coached by Hérold over five days to take over the role of Isabelle. Pougin claims that this incident exacerbated the composer's ill-health, leading to his death five weeks after the premiere.
The opera, Hérold's last completed one, was very successful, inaugurating the new Salle Favart in 1840, and enjoying some 1,000 performances up to 1871, and reaching its 1,600th at the Opéra-Comique by 1949."