Poulenc: Les mamelles de Tirésias; Le bal masqué

WORKS: Les mamelles de Tirésias; Le bal masqué
PERFORMER: Jean-Christophe Benoit, Denise Duval, Marguerite Legouhy, Jean GiraudeauConservatoire Orchestra/Georges Prêtre; Opéra-Comique Chorus & Orchestra/André Cluytens
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65565 2 ADD mono/stereoReissue
Cluytens’s 1953 recording of this absurd pastiche, the only version available, finally arrives on CD and disquieting listening it makes. The performances have an animated, quintessentially French quality, devoid somehow of conventional tonal beauty, but searing in their capacity to command attention. If ever an opera needed explanation, it’s this one, but Apollinaire’s text is not included, and neither is a synopsis. Claire Wrathall