Massenet: Manon (In English) - Harwood, Remedios, Chard, Blackburn, Dowling; Mackerras. London, 1974
Listen to a Sample:
This English Manon will appeal to those who admire the great, and under-recorded, Elizabeth Harwood. Harwood's career never really broke out of her native Great Britain, but she managed to amass quite a hometown following of those who appreciated the warmth and color of her voice and her ability to transition seamlessly from the demands of delicate coloratura to sensual lyricism. She is joined by Alberto Remedios as Des Grieux. Hearing him in this very lyrical role, it is hard to think that he would go on to sing Siegfried. That is not to say that he is at all lacking in power, it is just rare to come across a tenor who could manage the demands of Wagner without sacrificing the warmth and purity of his tone. The evening is deftly paced by Charles Mackerras. I am afraid that the sound is far from ideal. The English rarely comes through although the quality of the soloists's voices does.