If you are looking for a complete recording of 'Louise' then the recommendation must still be Fournet's 1956 recording from the Opera Comique with Berthe Momart and André Laroze.
-- Robert Hugill, MusicWeb International
I perceive now that I am never going to fall out of love with this opera. Why should I be ashamed to admit it ? Many people carry into middle age a secret taste for peardrops. I protest the music puts a real spell on you, haunts your memory and wonderfully serves its dramatic purpose. Of course, if you hate "Depuis le jour" it is no use persevering, but if not . . . and I believe countless people think it a beautiful song (veryRead more hard to sing, by the way, although exquisitely placed for the voice—Charpentier was a great one for knowing about singing) then you should really press on and make the acquaintance of the love duet which ensues, where as dusk falls over Paris, Louise and Julien hymn the delights of free love. I am not, of course, defending free love or the kind of things Free-Lovers said to each other in Paris 1900. I find the duet exciting and evocative.
The recording is perfectly adequate as here exhibited, if a shade hollow at times. Musy as the father is first rate; the tenor has what it takes even if he is seldom very ingratiating. Mlle Monmart (a name, I should guess, made up for her debut in this role in which she excelled) sustains the arduous role very well, can sing high notes softly and steadily and yet give generously without shirking when the music warrants it—and this often means attacking it like a Briinnhilde over a tide of orchestral sound.
-- Gramophone [6/1963, reviewing an LP release of the Fournet recording of
Originally hailed for its realism, the continuing success of Louise may owe more to its rapt, sometimes overwrought lyricism – a properly French Bohème. The strength of this 1956 recording lies in its idiomatic directness: the love scenes may have been sung more sweetly, but the acting, with a strong support cast, rings true. Sadly, the dry sound does not do justice to the crowd scenes that constitute a hymn of praise to Paris.
-- William Humphreys-Jones, BBC Music Magazine Read less
Works on This Recording
Louiseby Gustave Charpentier Performer:
Louis Musy (Baritone),
Jacques Mars (Baritone),
Louis Rialland (Tenor),
André Laroze (Tenor),
Pierre Giannotti (Tenor),
Jeanine Collard (Alto),
Jacqueline Cauchard (Soprano),
Georgette Spanellys (Soprano),
Solange Michel (Mezzo Soprano),
Berthe Monmart (Soprano),
Andrée Gabriel (Mezzo Soprano),
Andréa Guiot (Soprano),
Germaine Chellet (Soprano),
Gerard Serkoyan (Bass)
Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra,
Paris Opéra Comique Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1900; France Date of Recording: 1956 Language: French
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
the essence of ParisMay 3, 2013By J. Tatnall (West Grove, PA)See All My Reviews"Once you get to know Louise, its magic won't let you go. There are fine stereo recordings of it, (Pretre, Domingo, Cortrubas et al. still a favorite) but a work so ingrained in French life and history cries out for the accent and inflection of the native singer.* While observing thetre cuts of its day and more (perhaps) to get it onto disc, it is still a vibrant, idiomatic performance. Seriously, give this experiment a try: listen to the same French aria by a native, say Henri Legay. Then by Nicolai Gedda, a fine singer without accent and known for French style. Then by Domingo or Carreras. All wonderful, but in which one does the language and phrasing really come through? I have no problem with today's international casts, but I also treasure national casts from recordings of the 50s and earlier. It is a part of the music and drama."Report Abuse