Mado Robin      (Accord 464)
Item# V0726
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Product Description

Mado Robin      (Accord 464)
V0726. MADO ROBIN, w.Blareau Cond.: Arias from Lakmé, Barbiere, Rigoletto & Hamlet; Ah! Vous dirai-je maman (Mozart-Adam); Carnaval de Venise (Benedict). (France) Accord 464 235, recorded 1950-55. - 028946423523


“Coinciding with Erna Sack's career was that of the French soprano Mado Robin (1918-1960), a charming, modest singer who sang to the C above high C although she never commercially recorded the note. Robin's specialty was to interpolate a high B flat into her LUCIA Mad Scene as well as Dell 'Acqua's ‘Chanson Provencale’, Benedict's ‘Carnival of Venice’ (the version conducted by Benedetti), and the ‘Romance Waltz’ by Strauss. If you can't find these particular arias, rest assured that there was never an absence of altissimo excursions when Robin sang - most of her many aria and birdsong recordings have high Gs and the like sprinkled liberally throughout. Robin was a singer of taste and elegance, however, usually only incorporating her high note excursions at suitable moments. Unlike Sack's whistling high notes, Robin's were full-bodied tones of great intensity completely integrated into the rest of her instrument, and her swiftly spun upper octave was rich with harmonics. As with Sack, Robin's coloratura facility was not notable for its absolute clarity, but her sweet, childish timbre was immediately appealing to the listener as was her gentle lyricism and smooth legato line. Robin's performance in the first full Western-made recording (1952) of Delibes' exotic opera LAKMÉ (Grand Prix du Disc) is still considered classic. Robin died tragically at the age of 41 of leukemia.”

- Nicholas E. Limansky, THE LEGACY OF THE DIVA

“The times of the small and high soprano voice were almost over after the war. During the twenties and thirties Toti Dal Monte in Italy, Erna Sack in Germany and Lily Pons in France could still have huge successes in some coloratura rôles and start from there on a world career. During the fifties this became difficult as Callas succeeded in giving a whole new meaning to Mado Robin’s favourite rôle: Lucia. Robin studied with Mario Podesta, friend and co-student at Fernando de Lucia’s lessons with Georges Thill. He succeeded in giving her an excellent Italian technique: the legato is outstanding, the coloratura is fine and yes there are the unbelievable high notes, though at first Podesta was very careful. Only after several years Robin was allowed to sing a high D. Then she gradually discovered the voice upon the voice which indeed made her the highest female voice ever to sing a melodic line; contrary to some ladies like Sumac who could only hit some notes but not ascend and descend in a classic song or aria. As it became Robin’s trade mark she was always careful to interpolate some of those ‘money notes’ in her performances, and there were some rows with conductors who detested her doing it though they well knew the public expected and loved it. During her LUCIA performance in San Francisco in 1954, the management requested her not to sing her usual high D above high D in the ‘Il dolce suono’ section of the mad scene for fear of offending Lily Pons who attended the performance. Mado Robin did not comply. People who heard her in that gigantic barn said the voice was more beautiful and carried better than the Pons sound. Her French colleagues tell us it was not a big sound, but it was crystal clear and projected well. The Robin voice is not only a wonder of nature but it was handled with musicality, style, charm and it has lovely and immediately recognizable colours.”

- Jan Neckers

“Robin was born in Yzeures-sur-Creuse, Touraine, where she owned the Château Les Vallées. A star of television and radio in the 1950s, she was well known in France. Among her rôles were Lakmé, which she recorded for Decca Records in 1952 (with Georges Sébastian conducting), Lucia di Lammermoor, Olympia in THE TALES OF HOFFMANN, Gilda in RIGOLETTO, Rosina in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, and Leyla in LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES. In 1954, she went to San Francisco to sing Lucia and Gilda, and had a successful tour of the Soviet Union with sixteen concerts over a few weeks. She died prematurely in 1960 as a result of cancer. A museum to her life opened in her home town in 2009.”

-Zillah Dorset Akron

"Although [Robin] is most remembered for her stratospheric high notes, she demonstrates on this recital a firm technique and a voice that always resonates, regardless of the range. Even her highest notes are brilliant and never have a ‘white’ quality. Notable also is her effortless production, regardless of the difficulty of the fioratura….although she does interpolate at times…the effect is musical.

- Bob Rose, FANFARE, March/April, 2005