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Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Cluytens, Jobin, Doria, Bovy

Release Date: 07/29/2002 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 65260   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Renée FaureSimone BorgheseCamille MauraneAndré Vessieres,   ... 
Conductor:  André Cluytens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opéra Comique OrchestraParis Opéra Comique Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This Contes d'Hoffmann of 52 years ago makes no musicological pretences. It offers the Choudens score that was current from 1907, complete with Ernest Guiraud recitatives, Leon Carvalho mutilations (the Giulietta act before Antonia) and André Bloch interpolations. It also uses separate singers for the various soprano and bass-baritone roles. Yet no recording of recent years can match it for its authentically French sound. Where more recent versions have used international recording stars, the split of roles here permits a remarkable parade of 16 of the leading French opera singers of the 1940s. As Hoffmann himself, Raoul Jobin is outstanding, giving a mostly smooth, unmannered and lyrical performance with a fine dramatic buildup. Read more Fanély Revoil, who died last year aged 92, is the perfect foil as Nicklausse. The only other performer to appear in one act after another is the inimitable Bourvil, brought in from the music hall to give an irresistible tang to the four servant roles. Among the three sopranos, I particularly enjoyed the young Renée Doria's fluent coloratura Olympia. The various villains are all good, André Pernet giving a lesson in enunciation as Coppélius. In the Antonia act it is good to have husband and wife Roger Bourdin and Geori Boué singing together. Ensemble in the tavern scenes is not always perfect; but, throughout, André Cluytens keeps the score bubbling along with a fine command of pace... [This] recording is to be treasured by all who value the French performance tradition of half century ago.

-- Andrew Lamb, Gramophone [8/2000]
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Works on This Recording

Les contes d'Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach
Performer:  Renée Faure (Mezzo Soprano), Simone Borghese (Mezzo Soprano), Camille Maurane (Baritone),
André Vessieres (Bass), Andre Philippe (Bass), Roger Bourdin (Baritone),
Charles Cambon (Baritone), Fanely Révoil (Mezzo Soprano), Géori Boué (Soprano),
Rene Lapelletrie (Tenor), Raoul Jobin (Tenor), Louis Musy (Baritone),
André Pernet (Baritone), Renée Doria (Soprano), Charles Soix (Baritone),
Vina Bovy (Soprano), Raymond Amade (Tenor)
Conductor:  André Cluytens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opéra Comique Orchestra,  Paris Opéra Comique Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 3/1948 

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