"This is a great performance from start to finish, and a document of Offenbach's unique opera as it was performed in the country of the work's origin for nearly a century after the world premiere. This is also one of the few "Hoffmanns" employing an all-Francophone cast, with the result that not only is the diction correct and clear, but each characterization is masterful. That begins with Raoul Jobin's open-throated vocalization of the title part and Andre Cluytens' conducting -- every vocal nuance, every tempo exactly right. No less impressive are the four incarnations of the Devil in baritones of which Charles Soix's resonant Dappertutto and Roger Bourdin's genuinely scary Dr. Miracle rarely have been bettered. This is a desert island recording."