Charpentier: Louise

COMPOSERS: Charpentier
LABELS: Philips
WORKS: Louise
PERFORMER: Berthe Monmart, André Laroze, Solange Michel, Louis MusyL’Opéra-Comique Chorus & Orchestra/Jean Fournet
CATALOGUE NO: 442 082-2 ADD Reissue
Originally hailed for its realism, the continuing success of Louise may owe more to its rapt, sometimes overwrought lyricism – a properly French Bohème. The strength of this 1956 recording lies in its idiomatic directness: the love scenes may have been sung more sweetly, but the acting, with a strong support cast, rings true. Sadly, the dry sound does not do justice to the crowd scenes that constitute a hymn of praise to Paris. William Humphreys-Jones