Sonic Grade: B
Finally a version of Le Cid that we can enjoy! Superb sound with a performance to match! No more suffering through the hi-fi-ish Doug Sax/ Acoustic Sounds rebutchering of the Fremaux on Klavier.
Audiophiles in droves bought into that one, apparently not noticing the overblown bass and spark-spark-sparkling top end. Thankfully we now have this Decca from Speakers Corner to demonstrate proper orchestral balance.
If your system needs boosted bass and highs keep the Klavier. If it doesn’t this Decca will allow you to forget about the sound and enjoy this lovely music.
I. Castillane 2. Andalouse 3. Aragonaise 4. Aubade 5. Catalane 6. Madrikrne 7. Navarraise
Jules Massenet (1842—1912) was one of the more prolific of French operatic composers, but many of his works have been forgotten or, at best, remembered only for certain excerpts. Le Cid comes into this category, for performances of the complete opera are rare, although the ballet from it still retains its hold on the affections of the public. Justly so, for the music is tuneful, vivid and exotic, almost more Spanish than that of the Spaniards themselves — or so one is persuaded on hearing it.
Meyerbeer, though born in Germany, spent much of his life in France and his music shows the influence of that environment. It is fluent, graceful and brilliant, whilst lacking, perhaps, that inner touch of genius necessary to ensure its ultimate survival. But Meyerbeer’s sparkling qualities of wit and melodiousness are happily demonstrated in Les Patineurs.
From the liner notes.