ANDRÉ MODEST GRÉTRY (1741-1813): Zémire et Azor.
Catalogue Number: 01N091
Reference: BEECHAM 30-2
Description: Beecham was, of course, particularly celebrated for his touch with French music and this performance of Grétry's 1772 opera turned out to be his last in Britain. The recording here is of the third of five performances at the Theatre Royal in Bath with a high-quality all-French cast. Beecham cut one full number and made minor cuts and arrangements a a bar-level basis but the vast majority of the original Grétry is here. The only sources available were 78rpm acetates but the sound is fine and clear and the exceedingly minimal surface noise sounds no different from tape hiss; complete libretti with translations are not usually offered in historical reissues, so this is a luxury indeed. No Beecham collector will want to miss this (and the EMI from 1974 with Mady Mesplé is out-of-print, leaving this the only currently available version.) 2 CDs. French-English libretto. Huguette Boulangeot (soprano), Michel Sénéchal (tenor), Bernard Lefort (baritone), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Sir Thomas Beecham (May 16, 1955).