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Charles LECOCQ(1832-1918)
La Fille De Madame Angot operetta (1872) (highlights, in French)
Lina Dachary, soprano (Clairette), Michel Dens, baritone (Ange Pitou), Joseph Peyron, tenor (Pomponnet), Solange Michel, mezzo (Mademoiselle Lange)
Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux/Jules Gressier
Rec. Paris, 1952
Historical numbers from other Lecocq operettas:
La Fille de Mme Angot Je vous dois tout; Jours fortunes (Ninon Vallin; Madeleine Sibille)
La Jour et la Nuit J'ai vu le jour (Lemichel du Roy); Sous le regard (Emile Rousseau)
Le Coeur et la Main Un soir Perez (Lemichel du Roy); Ma Micaela (Emile Rousseau); Couplets du casque (André Goavec)
Le Petit Duc Rondeau de la paysanne (Fanely Revoil); Chanson du petit bossu (André Goavec); Potpourri (André Noel, Fanely Revoil); Enfin, nous voici (Louise Dhamarys)
La Petite Mariée Le jour ou tu te marrieras (André Balbon)
Les Cent Vierges O Paris! Grand waltz
MALIBRAN MR549 [78.23]


Of the fifty or so stage works written by Lecocq he is best remembered for his contribution to opéra-comique. It is to this genre that this disc is dedicated. Of the stage works La Fille de Madame Angot is the most famous and was the most popular.

The Parisian, Charles Lecocq grew up surrounded by the theatre life of Paris. He studied under Auber and was a contemporary of Bizet and Saint Saëns at the conservatoire there. His music is at times characteristic of Offenbach but with more inventive and less monotonous orchestrations: Lecocq was a first class melodist.

Madam Angot, occupies ten numbers on the disc. (SEE THE EMI REVIEW FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE PLOT). Each act has a string of good numbers and some of the best are represented here.

Of the singers, Michel Dens and Lina Dachary are the best known and need no introduction as both featured in EMI operetta recordings in the ’fifties and ’sixties. The quality of singing is very acceptable though the interest in this disc will undoubtedly focus on the rarities. That said, I find Lina Dachary has a raw edge to certain high notes in the Legend of Angot. However in her Jadis les rois, she radiates an endearing warmth. Michel Dens is a robust high baritone with wide register and good control of long phrases. Joseph Peyron is a very capable tenor whilst Solange Michel has an enjoyably soft tone that marries well in her duet with Dens. The clarity is excellent and although there is an improved change in equalisation after the second track, the recording under Jules Gressier's direction is highly acceptable.

The Angot is a reissue of earlier released LPs. The tapes have transferred well to CD and do not appear to have deteriorated.

The historical numbers are of course taken from electric 78 recordings. Their sound is understandably thinner but they have transferred well and most sections of the orchestras are discernible. The opening to the Chanson du petit bossu accelerates over the first five seconds and this could have been corrected. Some of the tracks have different characteristics and were either transcribed on different equipment or there was poor continuity kept with the settings.

Malibran might have made an attempt at compiling some notes. Only a track list is provided with this directly burnt CD. Some background to the historical tracks would have been particularly welcome. All we are given is an incomplete list of Pathé matrix numbers. I suspect that they were recorded in the late 1920s/early 1930s.

Raymond Walker

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