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     Gounod: ROMÉO ET JULIETTE    Table of Contents      Bizet: CARMEN

The Mapleson Cylinders - Program Notes

- Libretti
- Massenet: LE CID


Massenet: LE CID

Le Cid entered the Met repertory on February 12, 1897, with three members of the cast of the Paris premiere (December 1, 1885), the De Reszke brothers and Plançon. This same trio took part in the 1901 revival, which received three performances; the following season, with Albert Alvarez in the title role instead of Jean De Reszke, Le Cid was heard twice, after which it vanished from the company's repertory. (As a rare exception, in this opera the chorus sings French words; since Le Cid was first heard at the house with French-speaking principals, the chorus evidently learned it in French from the start, whereas most other French and German works had earlier been sung in Italian.)

The first four tracks are from the scene outside the cathedral, in which Rodrigue, "El Cid," is made a Knight of Saint James and given a ceremonial sword. With two pairs of parallel cylinders, we have placed the better-sounding one first in each case, as preparation for deciphering the fainter one.

Band 5

Act I: O noble lame excerpt : "[O noble] lame étincelante" ... "Quand je l'invoquerai"

Albert Alvarez (t), Rodrigue

Lucienne Bréval (s), Chimène

Suzanne Adams (s), L'Infante

Charles Gilibert (b), Le Roi

Marcel Journet (bs), Le Comte De Gormas

Edouard De Reszke (bs), Don Diegue

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra--

Phillippe Flon

February 19 or March 4, 1902

[Slip, probably in LM's hand, says "Alvarez Cid 19." Alvarez sang only two performances of the opera.]

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Band 6

Act I: O noble lame excerpt . "Pendant les injustes querelles" ... "qu'il regarde vers moi!"

Jean De Reszke (t), Rodrigue

Lucienne Bréval (s), Chimène

Nellie Melba (s), L'Infante

Eugene Sizès (b), Le Roi

Pol Plançon (bs), Le Comte De Gormás

Edouard De Reszke (bs), Don Diègue

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra--

Luigi Mancinelli

January 19 (matinee), 1901

[Snake on container.]

[original]

RODRIGUE

O noble [ Band 5 begins → ] lame étincelante
pure comme un regard d'enfant,
combats gardienne vigilante
et fais l'honneur triomphant!
[ Band 6 begins → ] Pendant les injustes querelles
reste immobile à mon coté,
mais sois de flamme et prend des ailes
pour l'Espagne et la liberté!

CHORUS & PRINCIPALS
Pendant les injustes querelles, etc.

RODRIGUE
À saint Jacques de Compostelle,
j'ai voué ma foi;
il me verra toujours à sa cause fidèle,
quand je l'invoquerai, [ ← Band 5 ends ]
qu'il regarde vers mio! [ ← Band 6 ends ]

[translation]

RODRIGUE

Oh! blade that shines in splendor bright
as stars that glitter in the night
or childhood's eyes, my guardian be,
that I may naught but honor see!
Remain sheathed in unjust fight,
but always ready for the right;
spring from thy scabbard swift and free
for Spain and for her liberty!

CHORUS & PRINCIPALS
Remain sheathed. etc.

RODRIGUE
To Saint James of Compostela.
I have vowed my faith;
he will find me always true to his cause,
when I invoke him.
may he look down upon me!

Band 7

Act I: O noble lame excerpt : "[combats gardienne] vigilante" ... "Gloire à Saint Jacques le Majeur!"

Albert Alvarez (t), Rodrigue

Lucienne Bréval (s), Chimène

Suzanne Adams (s), L'Infante

Charles Gilibert (b), Le Roi

Marcel Journet (bs), Le Comte De Gormas

Edouard De Reszke (bs), Don Diègue

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra--

Phillippe Flon

February 19 or March 4, 1902 (?)

[Slip, not certainly in LM's hand: "Chorus End of Act I Le Cid organ," but no date. Ascription conjectural, on the grounds that it sounds much too good to have been recorded in 1901, and that the tenor sounds like the authenticated Alvarez on Band 5.]

Band 8

Act I: O noble lame excerpt : "[Pure] comme un regard d'enfant" ... "Gloire à Saint Jacques le Majeur!"

Albert Alvarez (t), Rodrigue

Lucienne Bréval (s), Chimène

Suzanne Adams (s), L'Infante

Charles Gilibert (b), Le Roi

Marcel Journet (bs), Le Comte De Gormas

Edouard De Reszke (bs), Don Diègue

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra--

Phillippe Flon

February 19 or March 4, 1902 (?)

[No external evidence for dating. Our ascription to Alvarez is based on the fact that the recording speed matches Band 5; although the sound is less good, this is more a function of condition--this comes from the Mapleson Music Library group--than of original recording quality. This was the only "O noble lame" cylinder in the Seltsam collection, and it seems likely that Glackens and Bishop didn't recognize it; it may be their No. 115 ("Choral--possibly Romeo? I do not recognize it--G."), or perhaps 116 ("Choral--French?").]

Following a contrasting episode in which Rodrigue thinks of his beloved Chimène, the original strain is resumed by the ensemble. At the end of the ensemble, bells are rung and the organ inside the cathedral plays (clearly audible on Band 7).

[original]

RODRIGUE. echoed by PRINCIPALS and CHORUS

O noble lame étincelante,
pure [ Band 8 begins → ] comme un regard d'enfant.
combats gardienne [ Band 7 begins → ] vigilante,
et fais l'honneur triomphant!
Pendant les injustes querelles
reste immobile à mon coté,
mais sois de flamme et prend des ailes
pour l'Espagne et la liberté!
Sois de flamme, prend des ailes
pour l'Espagne,
pour l'Espagne et la liberté!

THE KING
Va, mon bon chevalier, va dans notre chapelle
vénir celui qui fait les vaillants comme toi!

CHORUS
Gloire à Saint Jacques le Majeur,
souverain patron de l'Espagne!

PRIESTS
Gloire à Saint Jacques le Majeur! [ ← Bands 7 & 8 end ]

[translation]

RODRIGUE. echoed by PRINCIPALS and CHORUS

Oh! blade that shines in splendor bright
as stars that glitter in the night
or childhood's eyes, my guardian be,
that I may naught but honor see!
Remain sheathed in unjust fight,
but always ready for the right;
spring from thy scabbard swift and free
for Spain and for her liberty!
spring from thy scabbard swift and free
for Spain,
for Spain and for her liberty!

THE KING
Go, fair Sir Knight, and thank the Lord
who gives His blessing to thy sword.

CHORUS
Glory to Saint James the Greater,
sovereign patron of Spain!

PRIESTS
Glory to Saint James the Greater!

Band 9

Act II: Infanta's Alleluia excerpt : "Plus de tourments" ... Alleluia!"

Nellie Melba (s), L'Infante

Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra--

Luigi Mancinelli

January 16, 1901

[Snake: "January 1901"; Glackens 96: "Jan 16, 1901."]

At the beginning of the second scene of Act II, before the royal palace, the Infanta distributes alms to the populace. (A brief fragment from another, unidentified performance of this piece will be found on Side 12 Band 5.)

[original]

INFANTA

Plus de tourments et plus de peine
au jour attendu si longtemps!
Le printemps sans la joie humaine
serait-il encor le printemps? ( distributing alms )
Prenez, c'est Dieu qui vous le donne,
Alleluia!
Dieu jamais ne nous abandonne
quand jamais on ne l'oublia!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Allez en paix, vous que l'on aime,
allez en vous donnant la main!
N'avez-vous pas le bien suprême
que d'autre coeurs cherchent en vain?
L'amour, c'est Dieu qui nous le donne,
Alleluia!
Gardez ce trésor qui rayonne
et que le ciel vous confia!
Alleluia!

INFANTA and CHORUS
Alleluia! etc.

[translation]

INFANTA

No more torments and no more grief
on this long-awaited day!
Spring without human joy--
would it still be spring? ( distributing alms )
Take, it is God who gives you them,
Alleluia!
God will never abandon us
as long as we do not forget Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Go in peace, you who are loved,
go hand in hand!
Have you not the highest good,
which other hearts seek in vain?
Love, it is God who gives it to us,
Alleluia!
Guard this sparkling treasure
that heaven has given you!
Alleluia!

INFANTA and CHORUS
Alleluia! etc.

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     Gounod: ROMÉO ET JULIETTE    Table of Contents      Bizet: CARMEN