OP0475. AMADIS (Massenet), recorded 1988, w.Fournillier Cond. l'Opéra Ensemble; Hélène Perraguin, Danièle Streiff, Didier Henry, Antoine Garcin, Hubert Humeau, etc. (France) 2-Forlane 16578/79, w.two Elaborate 54pp. & 29pp. Libretto-Brochures. Very long out-of-print, Final Rare Copy! - 3298490165782
“With a few hoary exceptions, that grand and glittering repertory of French operas of the 19th century has slipped into the shadows. Fortunately, record companies struggle to remind us of its existence, with greater or lesser success. The French, bolstered by public and private efforts to promote native culture, have been particularly industrious. By and large, their releases are no musical match for the major international labels with big-name talent. In the 19th century, Paris was a magnet for foreign composers (Rossini, Meyerbeer, Offenbach) and singers (Sybil Sanderson, Mary Garden) who allowed themselves to be shaped into something inescapably French. French vocal style embraced technical matters as well as musical elegance and an idiomatic command of the language.
The best recent exotic Massenet release was the first recording of AMADIS, a heroic-fantastical opera conducted by the earnest Massenet champion Patrick Fournillier (Forlane UCD 16578/9; two CD's). Romantic French opera favored the sort of historical, mythic themes and pompous posturing exemplified here, which suited Massenet less well than did sensual and sentimental effusions. Still, AMADIS has its moments, and the performance is respectable.”
- John Rockwell, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 17 Jan., 1993