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MASSENET: Manon (los Angeles, Legay, Monteux) (1955)

Composer(s):Berlioz, HectorDebussy, ClaudeMassenet, Jules
Period(s) 20th CenturyRomantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Choral - SecularOpera • Spoken Commentary • Vocal
Catalogue 8.111268-70
Label Naxos Historical
Quality   320kbps
 This album is not available in your country due to licensing restrictions or copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.

Made in Paris in the acoustically perfect Palais de la Mutualité, this classic 1955 recording under the great Pierre Monteux features Victoria de los Angeles as Manon, supported by a fine cast from the Théâtre National de l’Opéra- Comique (René Herent had first sung the rôle of de Morfontaine with the Company as early as 1918).‘Victoria de los Angeles [is] an enchanting Manon, whose voice has enough personality on record for those who saw her on stage to recapture those live performances… Pierre Monteux had the music in his bones and here dispenses it with authority and spirit’. (Alan Blyth, Opera on Record)


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

The Naxos set has a considerable price advantage, although the transfer (while projecting the voices vividly) is thinner in the orchestra. However, its trump card is a brief spoken introduction by Pierre Monteux, recalling Massenet himself directing all aspects of an early performance, from which he learned a good deal.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,December 2007

Always considered as one of the great opera recordings, we can now look back and realise that it also marked the end of the tradition that demanded French opera should be recorded by French singers. From this time on it would be given to international casts and orchestras, and even here we have the role of Manon sung by a Spanish soprano, Victoria de los Angeles, though her voice had the timbre that could well have come from Paris. Her characterisation may start a little too coyly in the first act, but it does allow her to emphasise that as time passes Manon finds a great attraction in money. Her ravishing singing is pivotal to the vocal success of the recording, but the performance rests on the skill of the conductor, Pierre Monteux, who seems to have had the music flowing through


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