Ninon Vallin;  Madeleine Sibille  -  The Complete Pathe-Art Recordings  (2-Marston 52006)
Item# V0017
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Product Description

Ninon Vallin;  Madeleine Sibille  -  The Complete Pathe-Art Recordings  (2-Marston 52006)
V0017. NINON VALLIN: THE COMPLETE PATHÉ-ART RECORDINGS, 1927 - 1929, incl. Songs by Leroux, de Falla, Franck, Duparc, etc.; Arias from Nozze, Don Giovanni, La Boheme, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Louise, Thaïs, Manon, Sadko, Tosca, Les Contes d’Hoffmann & Faust; Duet (w.Madeleine Sibille) from Le Roi d’Ys. 2-Marston 52006, recorded 1927-29. Transfers by Ward Marston. Very Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 638335200620

CRITIC REVIEWS:

“There are some great rarities here (six of them, we gather, existing in only one or two published copies), and (in a different sense) a greater rarity still; the best of all French lyric sopranos on record. The beauty of Vallin’s voice and art is apparent in almost everything she sings. The purity, fine definition, ease and evenness of production support an art which seems incapable of slackness or vulgarity. Not subtly expressive, she exercises charm and pathos in due proportion, and has a sure feeling for style in the important matters of portamento and rubato. Just enough characterization differentiates her Manon from Thais, and she turns equally well from Puccini to Mozart, Duparc to Falla.

The Pathés are not the easiest or the most consistently successful of her recordings from the listener’s position. The first track, Mimi’s narrative from 1927, has a rather thin and needly quality that cannot quite disguise the loveliness of Vallin’s singing yet seems unable to do it justice. The 1928 remake is much better, and when the second disc starts with Manon’s first solo, coming also from that year, the impression is immediately the true one of grace and charm, a crystal-clear voice and superlatively assured technique. From the same series come two excerpts from TOSCA, both in French, the ‘Vissi d’arte’ sung with taste and skill, the solo from Act 1’s Love duet appealing with a refined sensuality and capped by its continuation into the absent Cavaradossi’s rapturous phrase, the words duly adapted. Surface noise remains noticeable but the 1929 sessions bring another improvement in recorded sound, so that that year’s Mirror scene from THAIS is an advance on its predecessor. A perfect performance of Antonia’s ‘Elle a fui’ in LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN graces the series, as do a lovely Chanson triste (Duparc) and one of the most interesting items, the duet from Act 1 of LE ROI D’YS with Madeleine Sibille. Only the highest praise will do, both for the charming photographs and for Victor Giraud’s important essay.”

- GRAMOPHONE, Oct., 1998





“While Vallin's recordings on the Pathé-Art label consist of fairly standard repertoire, the rarity of this premium-priced label should awaken all Vallin fans. Six of the recordings on this CD set are known to exist in only one or two published copies; and another six are unique in Vallin's lengthy discography of well over 400 single sides plus four complete or abridged operas: DON GIOVANNI: Air de Zerline, ‘Panis angelicus’ (Franck), ‘Voici le Noël’ (Tiersot), ‘L'Invitation au voyage’ (Duparc) and the duet with Sibille from LE ROI D'YS."

- Victor Girard, Program Notes





"Perhaps the most adventurous efforts have been undertaken by the Marston label. For well over a decade, Ward Marston, of Philadelphia, has been a revered figure among collectors of vocal music. His sensitive CD transfers, clean yet brimming with color, have set new standards for sound quality. Frustrated by the constraints of working for others, Mr Marston last year launched his own label. His fledgling company has produced more than 10 albums, each a gem. Among the best is a two-disc set devoted to the French soprano Ninon Vallin, which for the first time collects her complete Pathé Art Label recordings of 1927 to 1929. Vallin possessed a sparkling voice that throbbed with warmth, and Mr Marston has captured it at its peak….her atmospheric reading in Spanish is a worthy rival to the recordings of Conchita Supervia and Victoria de los Angeles….But it is in arias from LOUISE, MANON and FAUST that Vallin stakes her greatest claim, blending superb articulation with glinting upper register and unforced girlish charm.”

- David Mermelstein, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 July, 1998