Damian's 78s (and a few early LPs)

Historic recordings remastered. Not a sales list!

Rousseau – “Le Devin du Village” with Micheau, Gedda and Roux, conducted by Louis de Froment; Selections from Rameau operas, conducted by Nadia Boulanger; Renee Chemet – Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso; Eugene Goossens – selections from Tosca

La Guerre des Bouffons reaches my site today, with works from opposing sides of the French operatic conflict. Rousseau is better known as a philosopher, but fancied himself as something of a musician, and his “Le Devin du Village” was extremely influential in its day. It was later parodied by Mozart in “Bastien und Bastienne.” Rousseau was a proponent of Italian operatic style as exemplified by Pergolesi’s “La serva padrona,” and wrote articles supporting the Italian as opposed to the French style espoused by Rameau. Rousseau’s own amateur attempt at opera, though hugely popular at the time, sounds somewhat trite and pedestrian now, though it is given as good a performance as one could hope for in the recording below. Gedda is perhaps too strong for the role of Colin sometimes. The Rameau excerpts, to me, win out easily, directed by Nadia Boulanger.

Rousseau – Le Devin du Village

Mediafire link for Rousseau – Le Devin du Village – de Froment (1956)

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Columbia 33CX 1503
Matrices XPTX 394 21, 395 21 (M6 176329/30)
Recorded April 1956
Issued February 1958
Orchestre de Chambre Louis de Froment, Louis de Froment
     Nicolai Gedda, tenor (Colin)
Janine Micheau, soprano (Colette)
Michel Roux, bass (Le Devin)
Choeurs Raymond Saint-Paul

Rameau – Operatic Excerpts

Mediafire link for Rameau – Operatic excerpts – Boulanger

(This is a zip file – left click the link, download the file, then unzip when downloaded)

Brunswick AXTL 1053
Matrices MC 3135-1B, MC 3136-3B
Issued 1954
Instrumental Ensemble, Nadia Boulanger

Dardanus – Act 2. Introduction – Tout l’avenir… Suspends ta brillante carrière… Hâtons-nous!… Nos cris ont pénétré
Doda Conrad, baritone with vocal ensemble

Castor et Pollux – Prologue: Minuet… Naissez, dons de Flore
Paul Derenne, tenor
Jean Maciet, tenor
Nadine Sautereau, soprano
Flore Wend, soprano

Hippolyte et Aricie – Act 5. Rossignols amoureux
Flore Wend, soprano

Dardanus – Act 3. O jour affreux!
Irma Kolassi, mezzo-soprano

Les Indes Galantes – Entrée 2. Clair flambeau
Bernard Demigny, baritone with vocal ensemble

Hippolyte et Aricie – O disgrâce cruelle – Overture and Fanfare
Irma Kolassi, mezzo-soprano with vocal ensemble

Hippolyte et Aricie – Ballet figuré

Castor et Pollux – Act 4. Séjour de l’éternelle paix
Paul Derenne, tenor

Les Fêtes d’Hébé – Prologue: Volons sure les bordes de la seine;
Acanthe et Céphise – Entr’acte;
Les Fêtes d’Hébé – Entrée I. Je vous revois
Nadine Sautereau, soprano
Flore Wend, soprano

Platée – Chantons Bacchus!
Paul Derenne, tenor with vocal ensemble

In the early years of his recording career, Eugene Goossens frequently recorded operatic pots-pourris, though it was something he did more often for Columbia than for HMV as here with the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra

Puccini arr. Tavan – Tosca – Selection

Download – Puccini/Tavan – Tosca – selection – Goossens

(mp3 file – right click the link, then select “Save as” or click the play button)

His Master’s Voice D 913
Matrices Cc 2668-IV, 2669-II (single side numbers 4-0592/3)
Recorded 19th January 1924, 7th March 1923, Hayes
Royal Albert Hall Orchestra, Eugene Goossens

The French violinist Renée Chemet is a virtually unknown name to most, but she did record extensively for the Gramophone Company. Her recorded repertoire consists mostly of minor works which were the staple fare for violinists on record at the time. She did however record a number of sonata movements, an arrangement of a Vivaldi concerto, a Mozart concerto with Goossens conducting (albeit the doubtful No.6, K268), and this favourite Saint-Saens work.

Saint-Saens – Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso

Download – Saint-Saens – Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso – Chemet

(mp3 file – right click the link, then select “Save as” or click the play button)

His Master’s Voice DB 887
Matrices Cc 6789-I, 6790-II (single side numbers 4-07955/6)
Recorded 28th September 1925, Hayes
Renée Chemet, violin
Harold Craxton,

Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers, conducted by Jules Gressier

Jules Gressier conducted a number of abridged French operetta recordings for Pathé in the early 1950s, and the one given here is undoubtedly the best known from this repertoire.

Offenbach – Orphée aux enfers
Pathé DTX 30143
Recorded 22nd to 24th December 1952

Mediafire link for abridged Orphée aux enfers – Gressier

(These are zip files – left click the link, download the files, then unzip when downloaded)

Orchestre de l’Association des Concerts Lamoureux, Jules Gressier

Choeur Raymond Saint-Paul
Liliane Berton
(soprano), Diane
Fréda Betti (soprano), L’Opinion Publique
Claudine Collart (soprano), Euridice
Deva Dassy (mezzo-soprano), Vénus & Junon
Claude Devos (tenor), Orphée
Aimé Doniat (baritone), Pluton-Aristée & Mercure
Pierre Germain (tenor), Mars
Andrée Grandjean (soprano), Cupidon
Huguette Prudhon (soprano), Minerve
Michel Roux (baritone), Jupiter
Georges Alès, solo violin

1 Introduction
2 Act I – Duo de Concerto (Ah! C’est ainsi… C’est déplorable, c’est affroyable)
3 Act II – Choeur du sommeil (Dormons, que notre somme) – Couplets (Je suis Cupidon, Je suis Vénus)
4 Act II – Le réveil des dieux (Par Saturne! Quel est ce bruit?)
5 Act II – Couplets de Diana (Quand Diane descend dans la plaine)
6 Act II – Rondeau des métamorphoses (Pour séduire Alcmène la fière)
7 Act II – Final (Il approche! Il s’avance)
8 Act III – Duo de la mouche (Il m’a semblé sur mon épaule)
9 Act IV – Choeur infernal et Hymne à Bacchus (Vive le vin! Vive Pluton!)
10 Act IV – Menuet et Galop Infernal (Maintenant, je veux… Ce bal est original)
11 Act IV – Final (Ne regarde pas en arrièrre)