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La Scena Musicale, August 2003

"British soprano Maggie Teyte (1888-1976) was arguably the most accomplished 20th-century non-French interpreter of French opera and song, as these two treasurable disks recorded between 1932-1948 attest. One marvels at her magnificent artistry and intense, yet tasteful interpretations of French melodies and operetta arias by Faure, Duparc, Hahn, Chausson, and Berlioz (they take up 90% of the disks, the rest is filled by English art songs by Purcell, Elgar, and Quilter; and two operetta arias by Russell and Romberg). Teyte's voice was always fresh and silvery, combining intelligence and passion. Her instrument remained remarkably preserved into her golden years: her recording of Ravel's Sheherazade, made when she was 60, reveals the voice of a young woman, in full control of great interpretive gifts. Self-recommending are Debussy's Fetes galantes and Trois chansons de Bilitis, recorded in 1936 with Alfred Cortot at the piano. Teyte was lucky to have fine accompanists including Gerald Moore, the London Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Producer Ward Marston has extracted maximum sonic value from the old 78's, and reduced surface noise to the minimum. Highly recommended. A must for any fan of art song or French music. ***** Stars"

Alan Rich
LA Weekly, June 2003

"Listening to Teyte the irresistible seduction of her voice and the fine resonance of Cortot's piano splendidly restored by Naxos' Ward Marston is to sense a unique bond rare in the annals of recorded performance. These are songs to be heard in a room otherwise quiet, because what they really do is to transfigure the very nature of silence.

There are other treasures on this extraordinary Naxos set: a moment from Offenbach's La Perichole, Ravel's Sheherazade, two songs from Berlioz' Les nuits d'ete (abridged, alas, to accord with the original 78-rpm issue), several songs by Reynaldo Hahn, whose friendship Teyte enjoyed, and even a duet with the great Irish tenor John McCormack. Blessings again upon Naxos, for keeping alive the sense that once prevailed, that records were important...Nobody plays like this anymore, and maybe they should...By contemporary attitudes toward 'historically informed' practice, these performances are all wrong; yet what I hear in their the playing of musicians so in love with their music that scholarly matters of correctitude seem beside the point."

Scott Morrison, June 2003

"Two-and-a-half hours of beauty...This two CD issue from Naxos of singing by Maggie Teyte (1888-1976) is a treat for two different audiences. For those of us who have long known and loved her voice, it is 2 1/2 hours of mostly French melodies and arias sung as only she could sing them, in a pristine restoration by that wizard, Ward Marston. For those who don't know her singing, it is a fabulous introduction at budget price to a singer who put the stamp of her unmistakable personality on everything she sang with great musicality, intelligence, impeccable diction, and purity of tone throughout her range... You simply cannot go wrong here. Once again Naxos has given us an issue of major historical interest. Long may they continue this effort! Recommended."

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