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     Meyerbeer: LES HUGUENOTS    Table of Contents     				  				   Band 2

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Libretti
- Meyerbeer: LES HUGUENOTS
- Band 1

Band 1

Act II: Queen's cabaletta: "À ce mot tout s'anime"

Suzanne Adams (s), Marguerite De Valois

Louise Homer (a), Urbain

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra--

Phillippe Flon

March 1, 1902

[When loaned by Lionel Mapleson to William Seltsam in late January 1937, this cylinder had no identification, but it was immediately ascribed to Melba--who else could have sung so spectacularly? Seltsam first dated it March 11, 1901, then discovered that, while the cylinder was sung in French, the March 11 performance was in Italian. So the attribution was changed to January 28, 1901, Melba's only other Huguenots during Mapleson's years of recording Met performances. All IRCC issues carried Melba's name on the label.

Not until John Stratton's article in Recorded Sound, July 1968, was the Melba attribution seriously questioned, purely on internal, sonic evidence; Stratton thought Suzanne Adams the likeliest candidate, March 1, 1902, the likeliest performance. The discovery of the Glackens/Bishop inventory furnished documentary support for Stratton's arguments: entry 65 in the inventory comprised the crossed-out line "Adams Huguenots -- Queen Act II (March 1, 1902)," and underneath, this note: "This is just an Orch. selection." Glackens and Bishop must have found the original container for the Huguenots cylinder and listed it on the basis of its exterior markings; then, at their later listening sessions, they discovered that it contained something else (Mapleson evidently mixed up his cylinders and boxes with some frequency), and they failed to connect the container with the cylinder loaned to Seltsam a year earlier. If the two had not become separated, the attribution to Melba would probably never have been made at all.]

In the gardens of the chateau of Chenonceaux. Queen Marguerite De Valois and her entourage are praising the beauties of nature and the joys of love.

[original]

MARGUERITE

À ce mot tout s'anime
et renaît la nature,
les oiseaux l'ont redit
sous l'épaisse verdure;
le ruisseau le répète
avec un doux murmure;
la terre, les ondes,
la terre, le cieux
redisent, redisent
nos chants, nos chants,
nos chants amoureux!
À ce mot tout s'anime, etc.

URBAIN and CHORUS
Terra e ciel favellan dell' amor, si!

MARGUERITE
Chants amoureux,
chants amoureux,
nos chants, nos chants amoureux!

[translation]

MARGUERITE

At that word, all nature
springs, rejoicing.
the birds repeat it
through luxuriant verdure;
the rippling stream repeats it
in gentle murmurs;
the earth, the waves,
the earth, the heavens,
re-echo, re-echo
our songs, our songs,
our songs of love!
At that word, all nature, etc.

URBAIN and CHORUS
All re-echo our songs of love.

MARGUERITE
Songs of love,
songs of love,
our songs, our songs of love!


     Meyerbeer: LES HUGUENOTS    Table of Contents     				  				   Band 2