Massenet / Le Cid / Martinon – This Blueback Was Awful

More of the music of Jules Massenet (1842-1912) 

Le Cid / Martinon 

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Sonic Grade: F

Hall of Shame pressing. Don’t buy into that record collecting / audiophile canard that the originals are always better.

The original Blueback pressing — true, we only had the one, so take it for what it’s worth — was a complete disaster: shrill, with no top or bottom to speak of. 

Le Cid

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.