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Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948)
Rose de Noël (1958) - Musical based on Lehár's material
Nicole Broissin (sop) Vilma; André Dassary (ten) Count Michel; Rosine Bredy (sop) Totsi; Henri Chanaron (ten) Lieutenant Sandor; Henry Bedex (bar) Popelka

Choir and Orchestra under the direction of Felix Nuvolone
Rec. Universal (Decca) Studios, Antony, France 1959
Mono - 2 CDs for the price of one
DISCOVERY/ACCORD OPERETTE SERIES 472 871-2 [90.22]

 

No reference to this work will be found under a reference entry for Lehár for the work was conceived in the 1950s by Raymond Vincy (libretto). Lehár's music was adapted by Prof. Rekai and Paul Bonneau for a Paris production at the Châtelet Theatre. As the date suggests, it is more a musical than an operetta even though Lehár's music does fall squarely into the operetta period.

The plot concerns an amorous Count from Budapest and his exploits. It is a trivial story which ends with Franz returning to hear music on the Eve of Christmas. On that night a fete is held to celebrate the felicitations of Count Michel and his fiancé, Vilma, the Rose of Christmas, from where the title gets its name.

Nicole Broissin is a good soprano with bright timbre, which however tends to mask good diction. She excels in her short 'Tant que je vivrai' [CD2 tk.14]. André Dassary is a particularly strong tenor who shows strain in reaching his tops. In some songs he uses a flutter vibrato more appropriate to pre-war than post-war fashion. He is at his best in Déjà [CD2 tk.15] with bohemian overtones that imitate Kalman rather more than Lehár. Support from the other soloists and chorus is lively and appropriate. Rosine Bredy sings enticingly in 'Modiste et modeste' [CD2 tk.11], a duet with Henri Chanaron. The music includes are some fine numbers. The atmospheric 'Chateau hanté' (haunted house) is convincingly spooky with its fluttering flute accompaniment yet comes to a surprisingly abrupt end.

The brief notes in French are provided in a card CD case.

Raymond Walker

 

Other sets in the Accord 'Operette' series:
Audran, La Mascotte [465 877-2]; Benatzky, L'Auberge du Cheval Blanc [465 880-2]; Christiné, Dédé [461 961-2] Phi-Phi [465 886-2]; Dumas, Ignace [472 877-2]; Ganne, Les Saltimbanques [465 868-2]; Goublier, La Cocarde de Mimi Pinson [461 964-2]; Lecocq, La Fille de Madame Angot [465 883-2] Le Petit Duc [472 874-2]; Lehár, Paganini [472 868-2]; Maillart, Les Dragons de Villars [472 865-2]; Messager, Véronique [465 864-2]; Offenbach, La Belle Hélenè [461 954-2] La Fille du Tambour Major [461 673-2] La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein [465 871-2]; Planquette, Les Cloches de Corneville [465 861-2]; Strauss, Trois Valses [461 958-2]; Varney, Les Mousquetaires au Couvent [465 874-2]; Yvain, La-Haut [461 967-2]

Operette series from Universal Accord reviewed by Ray Walker



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