The operetta of the Roaring Twenties by Maurice Yvain with Frivolités parisiennes

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Maurice Yvain (1891-1965) and Albert Willemetz (1887-1964): Yes!, operetta in three acts with a libretto by Pierre Soulaine, René Pujol and Jacques Bousquet. With: Clément Rochefort, reciter; Sandrine Buendia, Totte; Léovanie Raud, Lucette de Saint-Eglefin; Amélie Tatti, Clémentine; Irina de Baghy, Marquita; Norma Nahoun, Loulou/Lady Wincheston; Guillaume Durand, Maxime Gavard; Matthieu Dubroca, Caesar; Sinan Bertrand, Roger/Régor; Aurélien Gasse, Mr. de Saint-Eglefin; Philippe Brocard, Gavard father; Olivier Podesta, Loysel. Parisian Frivolities. 2 Alpha Classics CDs. Recorded in June 2022 at the Studio of the Orchester national d’Île-de-France in Alfortville. Presentation notice in French and English. Duration: 94:50

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It is in a composite version, recorded in the studio, with an orchestra of twenty-seven musicians and two pianos, that Les Frivolités Parisiennes performs the operetta Yes! by Maurice Yvain which they presented in its original version in 2016 on the stage of the Café de la danse.

The music of Maurice Yvain is far from being new for Les Frivolités Parisiennes after Up there resumed in 2021 and Rich kid more recently. For this studio recording, the ensemble chose to mix the initial version of Yes! created at the little Théâtre des Capucines where only piano was played (1928), that of Variétés with a small orchestra and two pianos repeated a few months later, and finally the version of Apollo of 1929 with some musical additions and a new orchestration dedicated to around thirty musicians.

Thanks to this high-quality music, the performers swing easily under jazzy accents, perfectly in harmony with the amusing vaudeville of Albert Willemetz, an author known in particular for the Felicie by Fernandel. The clarity of the nuances without excessive emphasis, the precise attack of the strings and the lightness of the winds in coherence with this rhythmic music, and the numerous overall colors offer graceful and elegant music which makes you want to participate in this effervescence by tapping the foot. Some might be destabilized by the numerous passages dedicated to the narrator which connect tunes, duets, trios and other vocal ensembles to unfold this incredible story, but Clément Rochefort’s aptitude for a lively declamation, full of verve and perfectly intelligible contributes to the very enjoyable of this recording. This feeling is reinforced by the precise diction work of the entire vocal cast and by the importance of the verb provided by each, in an ideal balance offered by controlled sound recording.

The freshness of Totte is excellently rendered with the full and fruity voice of Sandrine Buendia, who deploys a sensitive vibrato, typical of the genre, through fine nuances and a mastered singing line in her aria – she will have two – “Charming things.” She is accompanied by a frivolous Norma Nahoun (Loulou / Lady Wincheston), just like an energetic Clémentine in the guise of Irina de Baghy who avidly sings her tune “Me, I’m looking for a job” whose notoriety is due to Arletty.

The clarity of the baritone Guillaume Durand, both in his timbre and in his projection, corresponds well to the youth of the hero Maxime Gavard, the interpreter focusing, like his other friends, on impeccable diction. Political candidate for the legislative elections, Matthieu Dubroca portrays a convincing Caesar in “The Profession of Faith” as well as by expressing his excitement in “Will I be?” “. He is also sensitive in his “Farewell Waltz” which allows him to thank his 341 favorable votes, but also the blank ballots which “if my name was not put, it is because you had it omitted”!

The fervor of this operetta is also expressed in the solid voices of the rest of the vocal cast, the overall cohesion blossoming in a beautiful “Tea Sextet” with exotic airs. All these elements combined make up a beautiful musical proposal from Frivolités Parisiennes.

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Maurice Yvain (1891-1965) and Albert Willemetz (1887-1964): Yes!, operetta in three acts with a libretto by Pierre Soulaine, René Pujol and Jacques Bousquet. With: Clément Rochefort, reciter; Sandrine Buendia, Totte; Léovanie Raud, Lucette de Saint-Eglefin; Amélie Tatti, Clémentine; Irina de Baghy, Marquita; Norma Nahoun, Loulou/Lady Wincheston; Guillaume Durand, Maxime Gavard; Matthieu Dubroca, Caesar; Sinan Bertrand, Roger/Régor; Aurélien Gasse, Mr. de Saint-Eglefin; Philippe Brocard, Gavard father; Olivier Podesta, Loysel. Parisian Frivolities. 2 Alpha Classics CDs. Recorded in June 2022 at the Studio of the Orchester national d’Île-de-France in Alfortville. Presentation notice in French and English. Duration: 94:50

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