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Lebendige Vergangenheit - Martial Singher


Release Date: 02/28/2006 
Label:  Preiser Records   Catalog #: 89635   Spars Code: AAD 
Composer:  Jean-Baptiste LullyAndré Modeste GrétryHector BerliozCharles Gounod,   ... 
Performer:  Martial SingherMarjorie Lawrence
Conductor:  Paul BreisachMaurice AbravanelPiero CoppolaReynaldo Hahn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera OrchestraColumbia Symphony OrchestraGramophone Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

French baritone Martial Singher (1904-1990) starred in pre-war Europe and then at the Metropolitan Opera throughout the 1940s and '50s. As a teacher, his students comprise a virtual Who's Who of modern American opera and recital standbys--Thomas Hampson, Donald Gramm, Louis Quilico, James King, and a host of others. So it's good to have this well-filled (nearly 80 minutes) collection of Singher in his prime in Preiser's invaluable Lebendige Vergangenheit series. The material is drawn from his 1945 sessions for Columbia and from 1933 and 1935 HMVs, all capturing a somewhat dry-toned but flexible voice used with elegance and skill.

The disc opens with a lugubrious Lully aria now sounding impossibly dated, along with a nobly sung
Read more sample from Grétry's Richard, Coeur de Lion. The French opera arias that follow, also from 1945 sessions, include a trio of arias from La Damnation de Faust, where Singher's light-voiced Mephistopheles is expertly projected if without quite the heft we've become accustomed to. Other highlights include the Carmen Toreador song, a superb "Scintille diamant" from Tales of Hoffmann, and arias from Thomas' Hamlet--"O vin, dissipe la tristesse" from 1945 and a pair of arias from 1933 in marginally fresher voice. Singher's clear diction and use of tone color make them noteworthy examples of elegant restraint that yields emotional dividends.

Alongside other such French standbys as Debussy's Francois Villon Ballades and Ravel's Don Quichotte á Dulcinée are souvenirs, sung in French, of his intelligently phrased and sung Wagner roles, Telramund and Amfortas. The program literally ends on a high note, with a 1935 recording of a Reynaldo Hahn operetta aria. Hahn conducts, and here, as throughout this collection, it's sung with the utmost grace and with an interpretive arsenal that includes a luscious mezza voce. This is a welcome disc, marred somewhat by indifferent transfers yielding muddy, occasionally distorted sound. But that shouldn't stop you from experiencing the now-rare authenticity of a singer steeped in the traditional French style.

--Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Amadis, LWV 63: Bois épais by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1683-1684; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: French 
2. Richard Coeur-de-lion: O Richard, o mon roi by André Modeste Grétry
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1784/1785; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: French 
3. La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Une puce gentille by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: French 
4. La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Voici des roses by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 2 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: French 
5. La damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Devant la maison "Serenade" by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: French 
6. Roméo et Juliette: Mab, la reine des mensonges by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: French 
7. Hamlet: O vin dissipe la tristesse by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: French 
8. Hérodiade: Vision fugitive by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: French 
9. Les contes d'Hoffmann: Scintille diamant by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 4 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: French 
10. Carmen: Votre toast je peu vous le rendre "Toreador Song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Paul Breisach
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1873 - 1874). 
11. Ballades (3) de François Villon: no 1, Ballade de Villon à s'amye by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 3 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Language: French 
12. Ballades (3) de François Villon: no 2, Ballade que Villon feit à la requeste de sa mère by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: French 
13. Ballades (3) de François Villon: no 3, Ballade des femmes de Paris by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: French 
14. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée: no 1, Chanson romanesque by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: French 
15. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée: no 2, Chanson épique by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: French 
16. Don Quichotte à Dulcinée: no 3, Chanson à boire by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1933; France 
Date of Recording: 1945 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: French 
17. Lohengrin: Erhebe dich, Genossin meiner Schmach by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone), Marjorie Lawrence (Soprano)
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gramophone Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/29/1933 
Length: 8 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: French 
18. Parsifal: Nein! Lasst ihn unenthüllt by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gramophone Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1882 
Date of Recording: 1933 
Length: 6 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: Germany (1877 - 1882). 
19. Parsifal: Nein! Nicht mehr! Ha! by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gramophone Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 1933 
Length: 5 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: Germany (1877 - 1882). 
20. Hamlet: Spectre infernal! by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gramophone Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; France 
Date of Recording: 1933 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: French 
21. Hamlet: Comme une pâle fleur by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Piero Coppola
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gramophone Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; France 
Date of Recording: 1933 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: French 
22. Le marchand de Vénise: Air de Bassanio by Reynaldo Hahn
Performer:  Martial Singher (Baritone)
Conductor:  Reynaldo Hahn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1935 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: French 

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