Rabaud: Marouf - Legay, Dachary, Capderou, Vessieres; Le-Conte. ORTF, 1964
Listen to a Sample:
In the later part of the 19th century a treasure trove of new ideas, sounds, smells and images were imported from the far east many of which left a great impression on composers particularly in France. Mârouf, although a 20th century opera, was clearly apart of this trend, but unlike other operas which used the sounds of asia (i.e. pentatonic and whole-tone scales) Rabaud was more interested in probing the musical world of the middle east to an extant that no other opera that I know of has done before or since. That said Mârouf is more than an experiment in new idioms and Rabaud's music is still ensconced in 19th century romanticism. This performance, featuring a cast of relatively unknown French singers, does a lot to sell this work, and if none of the singers stand-out as stars, they lend an innate French style to the proceedings. I do have to say I was appalled by the chorus. One would think that the ORTF could attract a higher caliber. The sound is generally clear although it was transferred from LPs and so there is some "scratchiness."