Pelleas et Melisande  (Cooper;  Bidu Sayao, Martial Singher, Lawrence Tibbett, Alexander Kipnis, Margaret Harshaw) (2-Walhall 27)
Item# OP1388
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Pelleas et Melisande  (Cooper;  Bidu Sayao, Martial Singher, Lawrence Tibbett, Alexander Kipnis, Margaret Harshaw) (2-Walhall 27)
OP1388. PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, Live Performance, 13 Jan., 1945, w.Cooper Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Bidú Sayão, Martial Singher, Lawrence Tibbett, Alexander Kipnis, Margaret Harshaw, etc. [a uniquely sensitive and brilliant performance, with Milton Cross' broadcast commentary] (England) 2-Walhall 27. Long Out of Print, Final copies! - 5019148602729


"... this drama of half-lights with its subtle, exquisite score which is a tissue of delicate and evanescent sounds. Here is a lovely and incomparable masterpiece...behold! This opera falls on the ears in these days of turmoil and catastrophe like a blessed benediction from another world. The listener from outside on Broadway is soon wrapped in its spell and strangely comforted."

- Olin Downes, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 5 Jan., 1945

“Debussy's PÉLLEAS ET MÉLISANDE, as conducted by Emil Cooper at the Metropolitan Opera House is one of the orchestral treats of the decade. I have known the work most of my life and heard often - in Chicago, Boston, New York and Paris, but never have I heard its instrumental textures so clean, so transparent, so accurate in pitch and equilibrium and so expressive.…The Metropolitan orchestra, refreshed this season to the extent of twenty-nine replacements, is a better sounding group than that house has had in many years….Bidú Sayão and Martial Singher are ever a delight to the eye. The latter and Alexander Kipnis, who sings Arkel, are delights to the ear, as well, and to anybody's sense of stage style….Mr. Cooper has seized the spirit of that music rather better than anybody has done of recent decades in Paris, where the piece has gone slow, stiff and much too loud. It has become, in France, a sort of sacred cow that everybody is afraid of. Mr. Cooper, by treating her as if she were young and passionate again, has made her behave like a lamb. Flexibility of rhythmic scansion is the secret of his success. Not any Viennese tempo rubato, but a real French enunciation of the phrases as if they were good prose, with a natural placement of breath everywhere. He uses the French attack, too, which is clean without stress, neither hesitant nor percussive. As a result, his instrumental phrases speak as well as sing; and the whole musical fabric, vocal as well as instrumental, becomes, in spite of its complexity, as straightforward and sincere an expression as any one can well imagine, and far more so than we are accustomed to hear in the theater. It becomes iridescent, too, and incandescent; it shimmers; it glows; it is warm. Never has that work sounded to me so little vague or distant or tenuous. This is the way it still sounded thirty years ago, and Mr. Cooper has returned to the correct tradition.”

- Virgil Thomson, THE NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, 5 Jan., 1945