Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Georges Bizet, Jean Fournet, Lamoureux Concert Association Orchestra|
Bizet: The Pearl Fishers
Listen to Samples
Now hear this
J. Ruggirello | Long Beach, CA United States | 08/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you don't know this opera, or only know the famous tenor/baritone duet, you are in for a treat. I bought this performance on a budget LP a long, long time ago because I liked Carmen, I vaguely knew that Nadir was one of Caruso's roles, and I had played a piano edition of the tenor Romance as a student. That was about it. I had never heard the duet or any of the choruses.
Well, I listened, fell in love, and wore out that LP. There is one unbelievably gorgeous tune after another in the first and second acts. This opera is very different from Carmen as it turns out; it's more like Lakme and those French Romantic pieces by people like Auber and Lalo.
The voices are lovely. Pierette Alarie and Leopold Simoneau, married in real life, had beautiful voices and great flair for the French style. Simoneau especially has a sweet tone and lyricism that are enchanting; the Romance is very special. Alarie's voice is a little fluttery but very pretty. Rene Bianco does a solid job with the baritone part and Xavier Depraz, a fine French bass, is the Snidely Whiplash villain.
Orchestra and chorus (which has a lot to do) are good, and conductor Fournet keeps things moving along idiomatically.
Even if the third act (which doesn't contain much great music and in which the story kind of falls apart) is a bit of a letdown, this opera is really enjoyable to listen to and this is the recording of choice."
One of the great recordings of its time
Marc B. Haefele | santa monica CA USA | 07/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the very finest French opera recordings of the entire post WW II era. Simoneau and Alarie are flawless and magical together; I don't think anyone has ever been better. Depraz excels in his complicated and slightly awkward role. Fournet's direction drives Bizet's music to all its stunning climaxes without slighting a single musical detail. On the whole, the best "Pearlfishers" I know.
Be it said that this is apparently a 1953 recording. It's of a very high standard for that period, but it is not in stereo and is a bit bass shy."
Wilam Potts | Bethesda, MD USA | 03/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a CD remastering of Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers" featuring the great French lyric tenor Leopold Simoneau and his wife Pierrette Alarie. But for the somewhat two dimensional sound of early CDs, I would have given this release five stars for the singing is superb. A most pleasant addition to any operatic collection. Bill Potts, Bethesda, MD."