CD 1 (78:59)
French Odeon, 1929-1932
|1.||LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES: Nadir doit expirer … L’orage s’est calmé (Bizet)||4:09|
|30 November 1929; Hall of the Paris Conservatory, (xxP 6960-2) 123022|
|2.||LE ROI DE LAHORE: Aux troupes du sultan … Promesse de mon avenir (Massenet)||4:08|
|30 November 1929; Hall of the Paris Conservatory, (xxP 6961-2) 123021|
|3.||LA TRAVIATA: Lorsqu’à de folles amours (Di Provenza il mar) (Verdi)||4:19|
|30 November 1929; Hall of the Paris Conservatory, (xxP 6962-1) 123021|
|4.||RIGOLETTO: Tous deux égaux (Pari siamo) (Verdi)||4:20|
|10 December 1929; Hall of the Paris Conservatory, (xxP 6971-1) 123022|
|5.||HAMLET: Spectre infernal (Thomas)||3:57|
|10 December 1929; Hall of the Paris Conservatory, (xxP 6972-2) 123023|
|6.||Endrèze commenting briefly on the role of Hamlet and on soprano Eidé Norena with French Radio commentator Henry Jacqueton||1:29|
|7.||HAMLET: La fatigue alourdit mes pas … Comme une pâle fleur (Thomas)||4:07|
|10 December 1929; Hall of the Paris Conservatory, (xxP 6973-2) 123023|
|8.||HÉRODIADE: Salomé, demande au prisonnier (Massenet)||3:36|
|21 July 1930; (xxP 7106-2) 123033|
|9.||THAÏS: Voilà donc la terrible cité (Massenet)||4:01|
|21 July 1930; (xxP 7107-2) 123033|
|10.||PATRIE!: Pauvre martyr obscur (Paladilhe)||3:06|
|21 July 1930; (Ki 3538-1) 188064|
|11.||BENVENUTO CELLINI: De l’art splendeur immortelle (Diaz)||3:10|
|21 July 1930; (Ki 3539-2) 188064|
|12.||ROMÉO ET JULIETTE: Ô présage alarmant! … Mab, la reine des mensonges (Gounod)||3:16|
|22 October 1930; (xxP 7140-2) 123720|
|13.||ROMÉO ET JULIETTE: Quoi, ma fille! … Que l’hymne nuptial succède aux cris d’alarmes! (Gounod)||4:00|
|22 October 1930; (xxP 7142-1) 123720|
|14.||HÉRODIADE: Divine volupté … Vision fugitive (Massenet)||4:09|
|22 October 1930; (xxP 7141-1) 123725|
|15.||Nocturne (Franck; Fourcaud)||4:32|
|22 October 1930; (xxP 7143-2) 123726|
|16.||La procession (Franck; Brizeux)||4:40|
|24 December 1930; (xxP 7215-2) 123726|
|17.||Rondel de l’adieu (de Lara; Hugo)||3:01|
|28 October 1930; (Ki 3718-2) 188771|
|18.||RIGOLETTO: Courtisans, race vile (Cortigiani, vil razza) (Verdi)||4:38|
|24 December 1930; (xxP 7216-2) 123725|
|19.||MESSALINE: Ô nuit de mon cœur … Ô nuit d’amour (de Lara)||2:37|
|29 April 1931; (Ki 4409-1) 188771|
|20.||CARMEN: Votre toast [Air du Toréador] (Bizet)||4:25|
|14 May 1931; (xxP 7273-2) 123776|
|21.||CARMEN: Je suis Escamillo (Bizet)||3:17|
|with Gaston Micheletti, tenor|
9 May 1931; (xxP 7271-2) 123776
CD 2 (76:47)
French Odeon, 1929-1932 (continued)
|1.||Endrèze commenting briefly on the role of Iago in Verdi’s Otello with French Radio commentator, Henry Jacqueton||0:35|
|2.||OTELLO: Je crois en un Dieu cruel (Credo in un Dio crudel) (Verdi)||4:22|
|15 May 1931; (xxP 7279-4) 123777|
|3.||OTELLO: Seigneur, calmez votre âme ... La nuit dernière (Signor frenate l’ansie … Era la notte) (Verdi)||4:00|
|8 October 1931; (xxP 7306-2) 123777|
|4.||OTELLO: Vous avez vu, sans doute, aux mains de votre femme … Par le ciel (Talor vedeste in mano di Desdemona … Si pel ciel) (Verdi)||4:07|
|with René Verdière, tenor|
15 May 1931; (xxP 7280-2) unpublished
|5.||LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES: C’est toi, toi qu’enfin je revois … Au fond du temple saint (Bizet)||7:26|
|with Paul-Henri Vergnes, tenor|
6 October 1931; (xxP 7302-1 and 7303-1) 123803
|6.||LAKMÉ: C’est un pauvre qui mendie … Lakmé, ton doux regard se voile (Delibes)||4:18|
|6 October 1931; (xxP 7304-2) 123802|
|7.||PAGLIACCI: Bonjour, c’est moi (Si può?) [Prologue] (Leoncavallo)||4:17|
|6 October 1931; (xxP 7305-1) 123802|
|8.||MANON: Les grands mots que voilà … Épouse quelque brave fille (Massenet)||2:49|
|29 January 1932; (Ki 5236-1) 188864|
|9.||LA BOHÈME: Ô défroque si chère (Vecchia zimarra) (Puccini)||2:23|
|29 January 1932; (Ki 5237-1) 188864|
TOSCA (excerpts) (Puccini)
|French translation by Paul Ferrier|
|Ninon Vallin, soprano; Enrico di Mazzei, tenor; Arthur Endrèze, baritone; Paul Payen, baritone; Gustave Cloëz, conductor|
|Note: Presenting all fourteen sides as originally recorded; Paul Payen, the baritone, should not be confused with the famous bass, Paul Payan.|
|10.||Notre Dame! Son portrait! ... Ô de beautés égales (Sante ampolle! Il suo ritratto! … Recondita armonia)||4:18|
|Payen and di Mazzei|
8 June 1932; (xxP7325-2) 123810
|11.||Mario, tu t’enfermes (Mario, perchè chiuso)||8:35|
|Vallin and di Mazzei|
8 June 1932; (xxP7326-2 and xxP7327-2) 123810
|12.||Ce vacarme à l’église! (Un tal baccano in chiesa!)||4:25|
|Endrèze and Vallin|
8 June 1932; (xxP 7328-2) 123811
|13.||Gloire à toi, Tosca (Tosca è un buon falco!)||4:21|
|Endrèze and Payen|
9 June 1932; (xxP 7329-2) 123812
|14.||Où est l’Angelotti? (Dov’è Angelotti)||4:16|
|Endrèze, Vallin, and di Mazzei|
9 June 1932; (xxP 7330-2) 123812
|15.||Mario! ... Permets que je parle! (Mario! ... Consenti ch’io parli!)||8:07|
|Endrèze, Vallin, and di Mazzei|
9 June 1932; (xxP 7331-1 and xxP 7332-2) 123813
|16.||D’art et d’amour (Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore)||2:54|
10 June 1932; (xxP 7333-2) 123814
|17.||Grâce! Les mains jointes j’implore encore! (Vedi, ecco, vedi, le man giunte io stendo a te!)||5:32|
|Vallin and Endrèze|
10 June 1932; (xxP 7333-2 and xxP 7334-2) 123814
CD 3 (78:00)
TOSCA (excerpts) (Puccini) (continued)
|1.||Mario Cavaradossi? À vous! ... Le ciel luisait d’étoiles(Mario Cavaradossi? A voi … E lucevan le stelle)||4:01|
|Payen and di Mazzei|
14 June 1932; (xxP 7335-1) 123815
|2.||Franchise à Floria Tosca … Ô douces mains (Franchigia a Floria Tosca … O dolci mani)||4:21|
|Vallin and di Mazzei|
14 June 1932; (xxP 7336-2) 123815
|3.||C’est par toi que la mort m’était triste (Amaro sol per te)||8:01|
|Vallin and di Mazzei|
14 June 1932; (xxP 7337-2 and xxP7338-1) 123816
CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA (excerpts) (Mascagni)
|French translation by Paul Milliet|
|Germaine Cernay, mezzo-soprano; Gaston Micheletti, tenor; Arthur Endrèze, baritone; Mady Arty, contralto; Alice Héna, soprano; Gustave Cloëz, conductor|
|Note: Presenting all twelve sides as originally recorded.|
|5.||Ô Lola, blanche fleur à peine éclose (O Lola, ch’ai di latti la cammisa)||2:18|
13 March 1933; (xxP7345-1) 123817
|6.||Dites, mère Lucie … Piaffe, mon cheval fringant (Dite, Mamma Lucia … Il cavallo scalpito)||4:01|
|Cernay, Arty, Endrèze, and chorus|
13 March 1933; (xxP 7340-1) 123817
|7.||Regina coeli [Chœur de l’Église]||3:59|
|Cernay, Arty, and chorus|
13 March 1933; (xxP 7272-3) 123818
|8.||Vous le savez, ma mère (Voi lo sapete, o mamma)||4:06|
|Cernay and Arty|
13 March 1933; (xxP 7343-1) 123818
|9.||C’est toi, Santuzza? (Tu qui, Santuzza?)||10:57|
|Cernay, Micheletti, and Héna|
13 March 1933; (xxP 7275-2, xxP 7274-2, and xxP 7276-2) 123819 and 123820
|10.||Ah! Vous venez à propos vous, Maître Alfio (Oh! Il Signore vi manda, comprar Alfio)||3:44|
|Cernay and Endrèze|
13 March 1933; (xxP 7344-1) 123820
13 March 1933; (xxP 7348-1) 123821
|12.||Commère Lola, vous vous en allez … Vive le vin qui pétille (Comare Lola ve ne andate via … Viva il vino spumeggiante)||3:16|
|Chorus, Héna, and Micheletti|
13 March 1933; (xxP 7348-1 and xxP 7341-1) 123821
|13.||Le bonjour, camarades! (A voi tutti, salute!)||4:48|
|Endrèze and Micheletti|
13 March 1933; (xxP 7341-1 and xxP 7342-1) 123822
|14.||Mère, ce vin est généreux (Mamma, quel vino è generoso)||4:57|
|Micheletti and Arty|
13 March 1933; (xxP 7342-1 and xxP 7277-1) 123822
|15.||GUILLAUME TELL: Mon fils … Sois immobile (Rossini)||2:48|
|July 1932;(250 276-MC1) X 90060|
|16.||LA FAVORITE: Jardins de l’Alcazar … Léonor, viens ... Léonor, mon amour brave (Donizetti)||4:21|
|1932; (250 233-MC1) X 90038|
|17.||LA FAVORITE: Pour vous, qui vous taisiez … Pour tant d’amour ne soyez pas ingrate (Donizetti)||4:13|
|1932; (250 232-MC1) X 90038|
|18.||LA DAMNATION DE FAUST: Voici des roses (Berlioz)||2:48|
|July 1932; (250 277-MC1) X 90073|
CD 4 (78:14)
Pathé, 1932-1938 (continued)
|1.||UN BALLO IN MASCHERA: Oui, c’est toi (Eri tu che macchiavi quell’anima) (Verdi)||4:24|
|1932; (250 268-MC1) X 90066|
|2.||TANNHÄUSER: En contemplant cette assemblée immense (Blick ich’ umher) (Wagner)||4:22|
|1932; (250 239-MC1) X 90040|
|3.||TANNHÄUSER: Mortel présage … Ô douce étoile, feu du Soir (Wie Todesahnung … O du mein holder Abendstern) (Wagner)||4:19|
|1932; (250 238-MC1) X 90040|
|4.||FAUST: Avant de quitter ces lieux (Gounod)||3:44|
|1932; (250 269-MC1) X 90054|
|5.||FAUST: Écoute-moi bien, Marguerite! [Mort de Valentin] (Gounod)||4:11|
|1932; (250 267-MC1) X 90054|
|6.||SAMSON ET DALILA: Maudite à jamais soit la race (Saint-Saëns)||2:26|
|July 1932; (250 278-MC1) X 90060|
|7.||HAMLET: Ô vin dissipe la tristesse (Thomas)||4:11|
|December 1932; (250 300-MC1) X 90066|
|8.||HAMLET: J’ai pu frapper le misérable … Être ou ne pas être (Thomas)||4:24|
|1932; (250 225-MC1) X 90035|
|9.||SIGURD: Et toi, Freia, déesse de l’amour (Reyer)||3:49|
|1932; (250 226-MC1) X 90035|
|10.||TANNHÄUSER: Je savais bien la trouver en prière (Wohl wusst’ich hier sie in Gebet) (Wagner)||3:26|
|December 1932; (250 304-MC1) X 90073|
|11.||L’AFRICAINE: Fille des rois … Quand l’amour m’entraîne (Meyerbeer)||6:33|
|December 1932; (250 305-MC1 and 250 306-MC1) X 90074|
|12.||THAÏS: L’ardent soleil m’écrase … Baigne d’eau mes mains et mes lèvres [Duo de l’oasis] (Massenet)||8:34|
|with Yvonne Gall, soprano|
December 1932; (250 307-MC1 and 250 308-MC1) X 90072
|13.||GUERCŒUR: Où suis-je? Quel murmure me charme (Magnard)||4:19|
|March 1933; (250 316-MC1) X 90079|
|14.||GUERCŒUR: Si cruelle, si touchante! … Le calme rentre dans mon cœur (Magnard)||4:27|
|March 1933; (250 315-MC1) X 90079|
|15.||LE ROI ARTHUS: Pommiers verts … Ne m’interroge plus, ô Roi [Prophétie de Merlin] (Chausson)||6:26|
|December 1934; (CPT 1688-1 and CPT 1689-1) PD 6|
|16.||DIE WALKÜRE: Adieu superbe, adieu, chère enfant [Leb wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind] (Wagner)||8:42|
|December 1934; (CPTX 100-1 and 101-1) PGT 12|
CD 5 (79:49)
Pathé, 1932-1938 (continued)
|1.||DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER: L’heure a sonné … Ange du ciel (Die Frist ist um … Dich frage ich, gepriesener Engel Gottes) (Wagner)||9:02|
|October 1936; (CPTX 275-1 and 276-2) PGT 26|
|2.||FAUST: Le veau d’or (Gounod)||2:07|
|October 1936; (CPT 2874-1) PG 77|
|3.||FAUST: Vous qui faites l’endormie (Gounod)||2:52|
|October 1936; (CPT 2875-2) PG 77|
|4.||Psyché (Paladilhe; Corneille)||2:44|
|February 1937; (CPT 3137-1) PG 88|
|5.||ÉTUDES LATINES: Phyllis (Hahn; Leconte de Lisle)||3:19|
|February 1937; (CPT 3138-2) PG 88|
|6.||L’enamourée (Hahn; Banville)||3:21|
|February 1937; (CPT 3139-3) PG 89|
|7.||CHANSONS GRISES: L’heure exquise (Hahn; Verlaine)||2:52|
|February 1937; (CPT 3140-1) PG 89|
|8.||Les berceaux (Fauré; Sully-Prudhomme)||3:07|
|December 1937; (CPT 3638-1) PA 1986|
|9.||Automne (Fauré; Silvestre)||3:21|
|December 1937; (CPT 3639-1) PA 1986|
|10.||Passing by (Purcell-Cockram; Herrick)||2:41|
|December 1937; (CPT 3640-2) PA 1377|
|11.||Drink to me only with thine eyes (Traditional; Johnson)||2:53|
|December 1937; (CPT 3641-2) PA 1377|
|12.||DICHTERLIEBE: Wenn ich in deine Augen seh’, Op. 48, No. 4 (Schumann; Heine)||2:03|
|July 1938; (CPT 3982-1) PA 1545|
|13.||DICHTERLIEBE: Ich grolle nicht, Op. 48, No. 7 (Schumann; Heine)||2:40|
|May 1938; (CPT 3885-2) PA 1497|
|14.||DICHTERLIEBE: Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen, Op. 48, No. 12 (Schumann; Heine)||2:18|
|May 1938; (CPT 3886-2) PA 1497|
|15.||DICHTERLIEBE: Ich habe im Traum geweinet, Op. 48, No. 13 (Schumann; Heine)||2:52|
|July 1938; (CPT 3981-1) PA 1545|
RADIODIFFUSION, undated broadcast
|Odette Pigault, piano|
|Note: The discs containing this broadcast are undated. Since Endrèze’s voice sounds similar here to his last Pathé sessions, this broadcast has been placed in the late 1930s or early 1940s.|
|17.||PAYSAGES TRISTES: Soleils couchants (Bordes; Verlaine)||2:56|
|18.||PAYSAGES TRISTES: Chanson d’automne (Bordes; Verlaine)||1:44|
|19.||PAYSAGES TRISTES: L’heure du berger (Bordes; Verlaine)||3:25|
|20.||PAYSAGES TRISTES: Promenade sentimentale (Bordes; Verlaine)||3:44|
|21.||Hébé, Op. 2, No. 6 (Chausson; Ackermann)||2:47|
|22.||Nanny, Op. 2, No. 1 (Chausson; Leconte de Lisle)||3:05|
|RADIODIFFUSION: NORTH AMERICAN SERVICE, undated broadcast|
|23.||Rolling down to Rio (Edward German; Kipling)||1:18|
|24.||Endrèze greets his American listeners||0:43|
|RADIODIFFUSION: ARTISTES DE RENOM, 30 April 1956|
|25.||SEMELE: Where’er you walk (Handel)||4:36|
|26.||DICHTERLIEBE: Wenn ich in deine Augen seh’, Op. 48, No. 4 (Schumann; Heine)||1:30|
|27.||DICHTERLIEBE: Ich will meine Seele tauchen, Op. 48, No. 5 (Schumann; Heine)||0:52|
|28.||DICHTERLIEBE: Im Rhein im heiligen Strome, Op. 48, No. 6 (Schumann; Heine)||2:36|
|29.||DICHTERLIEBE: Ich grolle nicht, Op. 48, No. 7 (Schumann; Heine)||1:56|
CD 1, Track 6:
Announcer. – And now, my dear friends, before getting to the fifth and last act of Hamlet and listening finally to Endrèze singing the famous arioso “Comme une pâle fleur,” let us ask the great baritone, who tonight agreed to come round to our microphone, to say a few words, first about this fearsome part of Hamlet in which he distinguished himself, then about his colleague, Mme Eidé Norena. Dear maestro, we are listening to you.
Endrèze. – It is superfluous to mention the attraction that the role of Hamlet exercised for centuries on all tragic actors and for years on all baritones. Besides, Hamlet represents not only the beginning of my years of study with Jean de Reszke, but also the beginning of my career under Reynaldo Hahn’s conducting. With these two great masters I learned the traditions of Faure, the role’s creator. I remember that Reynaldo Hahn gave a series of performances of Hamlet during which, in the same week, I alternated with Titta Ruffo, he singing the part in Italian, I in French.
Announcer. – Would you like now to say a few words about Eidé Norena?
Endrèze. – But of course. I first sang Hamlet at Cannes with Eidé Norena, an admirable singer and touching Ophelia. Later, I had the great pleasure to sing at the Opéra with this artist in Faust, Roméo et Juliette, Les Huguenots, and Othello.
CD 2, Track 1:
Announcer. – Now Mr. Endrèze, tell us about the sinister and oh so dangerous character that is Iago.
Endrèze. – Iago is one of the finest roles in the baritone repertoire, one of the most difficult as well, because one has to give him so many faces. I conceived him under the aspect of a charmer, not that of a too obvious villain; deceitful, yes — but under an appearance of sincerity. Before singing this role at the Opéra, I asked the great artist Salignac for advice, and he encouraged me to follow the path I had chosen.
Translations provided by Luc Bourrousse
Producer: Ward Marston
Audio Conservation: Ward Marston
Audio Assistance: J. Richard Harris
Booklet notes: Vincent Giroud
Photographs: Gregor Benko, Luc Bourrousse, Rudi van den Bulck, Roger Gross, Lawrence F. Holdridge, Charles Mintzer, Jacques Primack, and André Tubeuf
Booklet Design: Takeshi Takahashi
Marston would like to thank the estate of John Stratton, Stephen R. Clarke, Executor, for its continuing support.
Marston would like to thank the sponsors of this set, the Pauls Foundation and Fabrice Pilato, whose generous contributions made this five CD-set a reality.
Marston would like to thank Luc Bourrousse, Lawrence F. Holdridge, John Humbley, Peter Lack, David Mason, Eugene S. Pollioni, and Jacques Primack for their help in the production of this CD release.
One of the most, if not the most admired of the baritones active in Paris in the 1930s was not French but American. He was born Arthur Endres Kraeckmann in Chicago on 28 November 1893. His father, Fredrick Kraeckmann, was a business executive and amateur singer of Bavarian Protestant descent, while the family of his mother, Mathilde Endres, originated from Alsace-Lorraine. Young Arthur and his brothers sang in a church choir before he enrolled at the University of Illinois to study agronomy. At the time he considered farming as a career, but he continued to sing as an amateur. According to the Dictionnaire des interprètes, Endrèze came to the attention of the conductor, Walter Damrosch, at a benefit concert. At Damrosch’s urging, Endrèze enrolled in the summer of 1921, at the relatively mature age of twenty-seven, as a student in the first class at the newly founded Conservatoire américain in Fontainebleau, which Damrosch had been instrumental in establishing. (Aaron Copland arrived in Paris that same year and like Endrèze was also a member of the first class.)There, Endrèze studied with Amédée-Louis Hettich (1856–1937), one of the singing teachers at the Paris Conservatoire. After obtaining a first prize in singing, rather than returning to the U.S., Endrèze remained in Paris, where he sang with the choir of the American Cathedral. On 8 May 1922, he made his recital debut under his given name at the Salle Gaveau, accompanied by his choir director, Lawrence Whipp. The program consisted of songs in four languages. “M. Kraeckmann,” wrote the critic of Le Ménestrel on 12 May, “is the possessor of a wide-ranging voice, which still needs to gain in flexibility. His interpretation is intelligent and varied, yet he still seems to have a little trouble with our language.” There were other good notices, and the following week the Figaro noted Kraeckmann’s presence, along with that of his wife, at a benefit concert by the baritone Arthur de Gabriac at the French American Welfare on Avenue de Wagram. Another result of this recital is that Endrèze was given a letter of introduction to Jean de Reszke, who agreed to take him on as a pupil—his last important pupil, as it turned out, since the great Polish tenor died three years later at the age of seventy-five. Endrèze thus moved to the South of France to receive tuition from Reszke at his villa in Nice. Through Reszke, Endrèze met Reynaldo Hahn, who was instrumental in launching the young baritone’s career. Pursuing parallel careers as composer, conductor, and brilliant music critic, Hahn was musical director of the casinos at Cannes and Deauville, overseeing their opera seasons (a winter season at Cannes and a summer season at Deauville). Under Hahn’s direction, Endrèze made his semi-professional stage debut at the Nice Opera in 1924, using his new name (a French rendering of his middle name), as Don Giovanni in a cast made up of other Reszke students. His professional debut took place on 18 December 1925 as Escamillo at Cannes, with Yvonne Alard as Carmen and Joseph Cochéra as José. Endrèze continued to appear at Cannes and Deauville until the winter of 1931, performing more than twenty-five roles, thereby acquiring a solid repertoire, his belated debut notwithstanding. As Escamillo, he sang opposite such notable Carmens as Alice Raveau, Marthe Chenal, and Ninon Vallin, with Charles Friant among others as Don José. During these years, Endrèze’s other roles included: Valentin, Telramund, Albert in Werther, Sharpless, Karnak in Le roi d’Ys (with such luxury casting as Emma Luart or Marcelle Denya as Rozenn, Marthe Chenal as Margared, Joseph Rogatchewsky as Mylio and Jean Aquistapace as the King), Marcello, the High Priest in Samson et Dalila, Tonio, Alfio, Rigoletto, Harald in Chabrier’s Gwendoline, Scarpia, Athanaël, d’Orbel (as Germont père is named in the French version of La traviata), Kurwenal, Nilakantha, and Hamlet. In Bruneau’s L’attaque du Moulin, Endrèze successively sang Merlier and the enemy captain; in Roméo et Juliette, he first sang Mercutio (opposite Grace Moore, making her European debut role in August 1928) and later, Capulet (opposite Eidé Norena.) Le Ménestrel for 14 March 1930 reports that he appeared at Cannes in Siegfried, without specifying whether it was as the Wanderer or Alberich. Among the rarities were a Hahn-led revival of Gounod’s Sapho (January-February 1926), in which Endrèze sang Alcée, with Lise Charny (Sapho), Joseph Rogatchewsky (Phaon), Jean Aquistapace (Pythias), and Régine Chasles (Glycère); Florencio Odero’s La Marana, a work premiered at Nice in 1908 by Charlotte Wyns, and in which Endrèze appeared as Perez, with Yvonne Alard in the title role; a revival of Méhul’s Joseph, a favorite of Hahn’s, in which Endrèze sang Siméon, with René Maison as Joseph and José Beckmans as Jacob; and Godard’s La vivandière, singing the Capitaine Bernard while Mady Arty starred as Marion. Endrèze also appeared at Cannes in April 1927 in L’impromptu impérial, a pasticcio arranged by Hahn, in which Endrèze impersonated the singer Garat, while Robert Couzinou sang Napoleon and Jean Aquistapace Marshal Lefebvre, with Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi and Marthe Chenal as the female leads. In this otherwise extensive repertory, there are a few surprises: the total absence of Rossini—despite the popularity of The Barber of Seville in France at the time—and, save for that early Don Giovanni, Mozart, admittedly underperformed then, but who had in Hahn his principal champion; also, with the exception of Carmen, which in France was performed in the original version with spoken dialogue, the quasi absence of opéra-comique and operetta, a probable indication (borne out by his subsequent career) that Endrèze never felt completely comfortable in roles including parlé.
In any event, it was as an exceptionally well-prepared artist that Endrèze made his Opéra-Comique debut on 4 October 1928 as Karnak, with Jeanne Guyla as Rozenn, Lucy Perelli as Margared, Raoul Girard as Mylio, and Julien Lafont as the King. Less than a year later, on 12 September 1929, he sang Valentin at the Opéra, with a cast including Jane Laval (Marguerite), Paul-Henri Vergnes (Faust), and André Pernet (Méphistophélès). “His voice,” wrote Raymond Ballimand in Lyrica, “carries well; solidly placed, singing in sustained fashion, in keeping with the method of his eminent master [Reszke], it is that of a strong semi-character baritone. His diction is precise, his declamation clear, his musicality fine. His stage deportment shows experience, intelligence, and ease, and his conception of the role comes off as convincing.” This successful debut was followed by a concert performance of the opening scene of Das Rheingold, in which he sang Alberich, and a second recital at the Salle Gaveau on 22 November. The following spring, Endrèze appeared as Don Giovanni in Lyons—the work’s first staging there since the 1898-1899 season—and impressed the Salut Public reviewer with his “handsome figure of a melancholy, blasé silvery-haired nobleman,” his refined declamation, his “sober, reserved, aristocratic acting.” That summer, he made his Vichy casino debut, adding to his repertory the part of Guido in Henry Février’s Monna Vanna, and in October began his regular association with the Bordeaux Grand Théâtre with another new assumption, Harès in Isidore de Lara’s still popular Messaline, next to César Vezzani as Hélion; he repeated Don Giovanni and Monna Vanna in the same theater. But the Opéra had become and would remain his home for more than a decade. Having appeared in Samson in August 1930, he sang his first Nevers in the last major revival of Les Huguenots there, with John O’Sullivan as Raoul, Eidé Norena as Marguerite, Jane Cros as Valentine, André Pernet as Saint-Bris, and Albert Huberty as Marcel.
The year 1931 was a watershed in Endrèze’s career, with the long delayed world premiere of Albéric Magnard’s Guercœur, the orchestration of two acts of which was reconstructed by Guy-Ropartz since the original had disappeared when German soldiers, after shooting the composer dead, set his house on fire in August 1914. At the 24 April premiere, Endrèze sang the demanding title role, partnered by Marisa Ferrer (Gisèle), Yvonne Gall (Vérité), and Ketty Lapeyrette (Souffrance), with François Ruhlmann conducting. Endrèze’s performance was unanimously praised for combining, in the words of Dominique Sordet in Ric et Rac, “perfect articulation in addition to a warm, attractive voice and much sincerity and intelligence.” The review by Henry Prunières that appeared in the New York Times is worth quoting at length: “A pupil of Jean de Reszke, a young American baritone, Mr. Endrèze, did unusually good work in the difficult rôle of Guercœur. He has the best voice which has been heard for some years on the Opéra boards. His voice has, in reality, the characteristic timbre of a tenor and he is able to reach both the upper and lower extremes with ease. The power of his voice is unusual. He is, moreover, an artist who is full of intelligence and one who has proved himself to be an excellent actor. His success was great.”
After this major triumph, other 1931 roles for Endrèze were Telramund (next to Gall and Georges Thill), Kurwenal (in French with Germaine Lubin and Victor Forti in March; in German with Frieda Leider and Lauritz Melchior in June, when he stepped in for an indisposed guest baritone), Amonasro (with Lubin and Germaine Hoerner alternating as Aida), Valentin, Rigoletto, and d’Orbel (with Fanny Heldy and Miguel Villabella). In August, he sang his first Iago, partnering José de Trévi as Otello and Norena as Desdemona, with Paul Franz and Germaine Hoerner subsequently assuming those roles. Another new Verdi role that year was Renato in Un ballo in maschera, which he sang at Cannes in March, under Hahn; “slightly old-fashioned music, yet interesting still and not devoid of grandeur,” was the Ménestrel’s patronizing assessment of the work.
By 1932, Endrèze had become the Opéra’s star baritone, taking part in two world premieres: on 6 January, he sang Herzfeld in Darius Milhaud’s Maximilien, with Lubin and Pernet in the principal roles, and on 7 November, he appeared as the Prince of Antioch in Alfred Bachelet’s Un jardin sur l’Oronte, next to Suzanne Balguerie as Oriante and José de Trévi as Guillaume. The anonymous reviewer of the satirical Cyrano, who found the work dull and may have deliberately exaggerated his point, noted: “Mr Endrèze is the only one who makes a little effort to articulate. Unluckily, he has a trace of a foreign accent!” Prunières’s much more positive assessment of the work and the performance, published in the New York Times, singled out Endrèze, “a magnificent baritone, who has an ample voice of fine quality, excellent artistry, and incomparable diction. He was the one person of the evening whose every syllable was clear.” In February and April, Endrèze was in Monte Carlo, where, besides Tosca (with Maria Nemeth and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi), Aida (with Lauri-Volpi and Clara Jacobo), and Tristan, he sang in two curiosities: L’escarpolette, a pot-pourri based on songs by Paul Delmet, in which he partnered Marjorie Lawrence; and, for its local premiere, Franco Alfano’s L’ultimo lord, in which he sang the Duke of Kilmarnock, with Fanny Heldy as Freddie. In November, he appeared, with Lucy Perelli and Bernadette Delprat, among others, at a benefit concert of music by Isidore de Lara at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, accompanied by the composer.
In 1933, apart from a revival of Guercœur, Endrèze sang at the Opéra his first Hérode in Massenet’s Hérodiade, with Heldy as Salomé, Laure Tessandra as Hérodiade, and Paul Franz as Jean. In February, he sang Merlin in a concert performance of Act 3 of Chausson’s Le roi Arthus, with Germaine Hoerner as Guenièvre, Martial Singher as Arthus, José de Trévi as Lancelot, and Philippe Gaubert conducting the Société des concerts du Conservatoire.
No performances can be traced for the fall of 1933 and beginning of 1934, which may indicate that Endrèze went through personal difficulties, possibly a nervous breakdown that might have been related to the death of his first wife. There is a reference in the fall 1935 issue of Lyrica to an “illness that had long kept him away from the stage.” It is possible, as suggested by Morris Springer in The Record Collector, that he spent a few months in his native country, most likely in Chicago, to recuperate. By the late 1930s, he had married his second wife, Jeanne Krieger (1887–1973), formerly a soprano who had performed the voice of the child Jesus in d’Indy’s La légende de saint Christophe at the Opéra in 1920, and who subsequently had become a “chef de chant” (coach) at the Opéra, and who, under the name Jeanne Endrèze-Krieger, became her husband’s chief accompanist in recitals.
By November 1934, Endrèze had returned to the Opéra as Telramund and d’Orbel. In 1935, he appeared in Bordeaux in a variety of roles such as Hamlet, Valentin, Athanaël, d’Orbel, Scarpia, Hérode, Sharpless, Escamillo, and Kurwenal. On 24 February he sang Wotan (or possibly Alberich) in a concert version of Das Rheingold with the Colonne Orchestra under Paul Paray—a performance the same artists repeated in December 1937. Tantalizingly, Ouest-Éclair for 5 October announces a complete radio broadcast of Saint-Saëns’s Henry VIII with Endrèze in the title role, with Germaine Martinelli, under Eugène Bigot.
In 1936, Endrèze continued to divide himself between Bordeaux and Paris. The most notable event in that year was the Paris concert premiere of Milhaud’s Christophe Colomb, which Endrèze sang under Pierre Monteux on 11 December; a broadcast of the work was subsequently given in May 1939 under the baton of Manuel Rosenthal. In 1937, he sang Metternich, with much success, in Honegger and Ibert’s L’Aiglon at Monte Carlo. Hahn, who attended the third performance on 13 March, three days after the world premiere, found him excellent “in tone, voice, and appearance.” The work was seen in Paris in September with the same principals (Heldy in the title role, Vanni-Marcoux as Flambeau), and revived in the following three seasons. The opera was also broadcast in December 1937. Reviewing the Paris performances for Le Ménestrel, Marcel Belviannes noted that “his talent as an actor equals his talent as a singer.” Also in 1937, Endrèze sang his first Hamlet at the Opéra. In 1938, along with his regular Opéra appearances (as Iago, Valentin, and the High Priest of Dagon) and a revival of L’Aiglon in Monte Carlo, Endrèze sang in concert Act 3 of Tannhäuser at the Nancy Conservatoire, under Bachelet. Perhaps the highlight of the year came in October, when he sang Kurwenal in a cast that included Kirsten Flagstad, with Joachim Sattler and Adolf Fischer alternating as Tristan, under the baton of Franz von Hoesslin.
In 1939, Endrèze was seen at the Opéra-Comique, for the first time in ten years, when Bruneau’s Le rêve was revived, with Jeanne Rolland as Angélique. Unlike the New York Times correspondent, Herbert F. Peyser, who thought that “a better representative of the Bishop than M. Endrèze could probably have been found,” Hahn found Endrèze’s Jean de Hautecœur “in every way remarkable,” praising the scenic and vocal authority with which he characterized the implacable bishop. The following month, on 20 March, he was Mosca in the world premiere of Henri Sauguet’s La chartreuse de Parme at the Opéra. Recalling the circumstances for the French radio after the war, Sauguet admitted that, while the roles of the Sanseverina and Fabrice had been written with Lubin and Raoul Jobin in mind, Mosca was not specifically intended for Endrèze (the bass André Pernet was the singer he had envisaged), but when the name was mentioned by friends, he enthusiastically endorsed their suggestion. Hahn conducted the Colonne orchestra, on 26 March, when Lubin and Endrèze gave the first hearing of the final tableau of Gounod’s unfinished opera Maître Pierre at the Théâtre du Châtelet. In April, Endrèze, as Don Jacinto, took part in the revival of Silvio Lazzari’s La tour de feu at the Opéra, with Ferrer as Naïc, Trévi as Yves, and Jean Claverie as Yann. “What a lesson it is for young singers,” Hahn wrote of his former protégé in Le Figaro, “to pay attention to the diction of this remarkable artist! While he never forces his voice, that slightly colorless voice whose grain can be felt as one can discern the canvas web in some old master paintings, so even as well, so homogeneous from bottom to top; he conveys every syllable of the text by giving it its exact phonetic value and the precise, appropriate expression. I will say the same of his acting, which is always what it ought to be: restrained, yet never stiff, and lively, yet without pointless vehemence.”
The declaration of war on 3 September 1939 did not interrupt Endrèze’s career. He continued to appear in Le rêve at the Opéra-Comique and, at the Opéra, which reopened its doors on 16 November, in Faust and Roméo et Juliette—as Capulet, while Martial Singher sang Mercutio and Georges Thill and Solange Delmas were the principals. On 12 January 1940 Endrèze gave a recital in Bordeaux, where he also appeared as Hamlet and Iago (under Cluytens) at the Grand-Théâtre. On 22 March he was the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth at the Société des concerts, conducted by Charles Münch, with Odette Turba-Rabier, Eliette Schenneberg, and Georges Jouatte. On 28 March he appeared as Athanaël with Vina Bovy as Thaïs, and on 3 April as the Samson High Priest, with Hélène Bouvier as Dalila, with Paray conducting. On 8 May 1940—two days before Hitler’s armies invaded Belgium and Holland—he sang Créon in the French premiere of Milhaud’s Médée, with Ferrer in the title role, Janine Micheau as Créüse, Trévi as Jason, and Lapeyrette as the nurse. The third and final performance took place on 25 May, after which the Opéra closed down, to reopen after the Armistice and the beginning of the Nazi Occupation.
Most biographical accounts refer to Endrèze being briefly put under arrest in the summer of 1940 and probably interned at Compiègne. If true, this raises puzzling questions. A longstanding, well-known member of the Opéra troupe and legal resident of France, married to a French national, there were no grounds on which he would be arrested by the Vichy regime, which, even under those special circumstances, would have thought twice before incarcerating a citizen of a country with which France never broke off diplomatic relations. As for the Germans, they too would have been careful not to antagonize a country whose neutrality they counted on by detaining one of its citizens arbitrarily. There remains, of course, the possibility that he was the victim of a mistake.
In any event, Endrèze was back at the Opéra in the fall of 1940. In October he sang Pollux in a revival of Rameau’s Castor et Pollux which also starred Lubin as Télaïre, Hoerner as Phœbé, and Jouatte as Castor (the date of 26 October for the premiere in some sources is a misreading of Stéphane Wolff, who specifies that it was the last performance). Also at the Opéra, he sang d’Orbel when La traviata was revived on 22 March 1941. Though his presence in Opéra casts is difficult to trace after this date, Endrèze is listed in Le rêve at the Salle Favart on 4 February 1942—still with Jeanne Rolland as Angélique and with Bigot conducting. His name regularly appears on the programs of Radio-Paris, for instance under the heading of “La demi-heure de bel canto,” which at least indicates—no more, no less—that he was not persona non grata with the regime or the occupants, since Radio-Paris quickly became notoriously collaborationist. (A famous jingle, to be whispered to the popular tune of La cucaracha, ran thus: Radio Paris ment, Radio-Paris ment, Radio-Paris est allemand!) Throughout 1941 and 1942 he appeared with the Radio-Paris orchestra. Thus, Le Matin for 18–19 April 1942 lists his name in a broadcast of Gianni Schicchi—a rare appearance in a comic part, though which one (Simone?) exactly is difficult to establish, since Vanni-Marcoux sang the title role. In this performance Gaston Micheletti was the Rinuccio and the Grand Orchestre de Radio-Paris was conducted by its principal conductor Jean Fournet. As late as 24 November 1942, Endrèze appeared in a concert of operatic extracts with the same orchestra and conductor, possibly in the second act of Samson with Germaine Corney.
After that date, Endrèze’s name does not appear in the Parisian press. His standing vis-à-vis the Occupation authorities—and conductors such as Fournet, a member of the “Collaboration” group—had obviously changed after Germany declared war on the United States on 11 December 1941, since he was now technically an enemy alien. This was even more so the case after the Nazis took direct control of the entire French territory following the American landing in Morocco on 8 November 1942. Sometime after that date, Endrèze was arrested by the Gestapo (or by the French police acting on Gestapo orders) and imprisoned at Compiègne, to the north of Paris, until early 1944, when he was freed and allowed to return to the United States: his name is listed among the Americans repatriated aboard the liner Gripsholm, which docked at Jersey City on 15 March. He visited his parents in Chicago and we can assume he remained in the U.S. well after the Liberation of Paris in August of the same year. A short announcement in the Chicago Daily Tribune reports him as declaring he had been decently treated in captivity and his wife had remained in France. If she was Jewish, as her name may suggest, she would have had to live in clandestinity or semi-clandestinity.
Endrèze was over fifty when the war ended and his career was coming to an end. In the summer of 1945 his old friend Hahn, now the Opéra director, invited him to sing the Speaker in The Magic Flute he conducted at the Palais Garnier, with a cast headed by Jouatte as Tamino and Mado Robin as the Queen of the Night. On 2 November 1945, with Irene Joachim, Endrèze sang the Fauré Requiem at the Palais de Chaillot at a concert of the newly formed Orchestre national de la Radiodiffusion française, conducted by Manuel Rosenthal, to honor the victims of Nazism. On 18 November he reappeared at the Opéra-Comique as Scarpia, and on 7 June 1946, he sang Jacob in a new production of Joseph, conducted by Hahn. He also sang Iago in September. The sixth and last performance of Joseph, on 20 October, conducted by D.E. Inghelbrecht, seems to have been his final appearance at the Palais Garnier.
Though he had by then retired from the stage, Endrèze sang Jörgen in a radio broadcast of Guy Ropartz’s opera Le pays, on 27 June 1947, with Marcelle Bunlet as Kaethe and tenor René Bonneval as Tual. This seems to be his last documented appearance in a complete opera, though he evidently continued to appear in recital, as attested by his postwar radio broadcasts. He spent two years in the United States in 1948–1950 as a voice teacher at the University of Kansas. But in 1950 he went back to Paris, which he by then considered home, and continued to teach private pupils. Only following the death of his wife in 1973 did he move back to Chicago, where he died on 15 April 1975.
Endrèze’s recording career extended over a relatively short eight years and eight months, with the balance weighted during the four year period 1929–1933, before the health crisis that interrupted his career for a few months in late 1933. Perhaps these recordings show him at the top of his vocal powers, but no vocal decline is obvious in his subsequent records. Far from it, the Roi Arthus, Walküre, and Dutchman excerpts, all dating from December 1934, are splendid. Yet, in other recordings, especially the songs, a certain lack of abandon is noticeable.
Discussing Endrèze’s legacy in purely vocal terms, however, would be doing him a grave injustice. Indeed, what strikes one immediately when listening to his recordings is the almost matchless capacity to project a French text—a quality that nowadays has become so rare, among French-born singers as well as non-French ones, that it would be hard to find his equivalent—or anybody approaching him. It is not just the precision and clarity of the pronunciation, which is remarkable in itself, but also the quality of the French. One might cavil only at his habit (not uncommon in French singers) to add an intrusive “h” when a vowel sound is extended over more than one note—a mannerism which mars (very slightly) his rendering of “Fille des rois” from L’Africaine (“toi-ha,” etc.). The vowel sounds are pure, the r’s are rolled without any excess (see the impressive arioso from Diaz’s Benvenuto). Nor is there a hint of grasseyement—those lower-class inflexions familiar from actors like Arletty as well as from popular singers of the period, which drove Reynaldo Hahn furious when he covered the annual Conservatoire examination. In fact, in many ways, Endrèze is very much the model singer according to Hahn, who as a musician befriended and worked with some of the finest singers of his day (Maurice Renaud, Jean de Reszke, Lilli Lehmann) but who, as a critic, did not hesitate to confess that refined, intelligent singing mattered considerably more, to him, than a beautiful voice.
Not that there are any reasons to be unhappy with Endrèze from a purely vocal point of view. The voice is attractive, with what Roland Barthes would call an appealing “grain.” Stable, evenly produced, it is slightly easier at the top, with exciting Fs and Gs, than at the bottom, where there is an occasional hint of discoloration: a true baritone, in other words. The slight nasal color seems particularly appropriate for someone who devoted his life to singing in French. The breath control is excellent, with soft notes beautifully attacked. Endrèze is also a strict singer, observant of rhythm, and respectful of nuances (so numerous in Massenet, for instance). A “modern” singer in many ways, one would think, except that the delicate, discreet ornamentation betrays an attachment to nineteenth-century traditions learned from Jean de Reszke.
It is fortunate that so much of Endrèze’s repertory is preserved on disc. One can, of course, regret the absence of modern rarities, such as his three Milhaud roles (especially Christophe Colomb), or his contribution to Bachelet’s Un jardin sur l’Oronte, or his much admired Metternich in L’Aiglon; would that his broadcasts could be heard! The Bishop in Le rêve, a woefully under-recorded work, would also have been a welcome addition to his discography. Otherwise, almost everything he sang is there. Considering that operatic rarities such as the ones just listed were less likely to interest recording companies, we are very lucky to have the two extracts from the second act of Guercœur: the monologue (“Où suis-je? Quel murmure...”) and the “Pardon,” in which he takes Magnard’s long lines well in his stride. The French repertory is particularly well represented, including roles he may have sung at the start of his career, but with which he was not closely associated, like Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles. (Paul-Henri Vergnes, the tenor in the Pêcheurs duet [CD 2, Track 5]) sang Faust when Endrèze made his Opéra debut as Valentin.) Equally well-represented in Endrèze’s discography are operas that, save for an aria or two, had disappeared from the repertory, such as Le roi de Lahore (his recording of “Promesse de mon avenir” is a fine account by any standard), and the aforementioned Benvenuto. There is no evidence that Endrèze sang Nélusko on stage, but he may well have studied the part with Reszke, who was a friend of Jean-Baptiste Faure, creator of the role. the indication of cantabile con portamento is observed, though with suitable discretion, and the two specified trills, a Faure hallmark, are delicately executed. There is no evidence either that Endrèze appeared in La favorite, a work not heard in Paris after the First World War; it was, however, revived occasionally in the provinces, and here again Endrèze is masterful, stylish, and melodious, with subtle coloring and fine instances of voix mixte. By the time Endrèze’s career had begun, Paladihle’s Sardou-based Patrie! had also exited the Opéra’s repertory, but the aria for Rysoor (premiered by Jean Lassalle in 1886), extracted from the exciting finale of Act 4, was still a concert favorite. There is more likelihood that Endrèze appeared in Sigurd, a perennial favorite in the French provinces until World War II, especially with César Vezzani in the title role. Based on Endrèze’s impeccable account of “Et toi Freïa, déesse de l’amour,” his Gunther would have been a splendid match for Vezzani’s Sigurd.
Of Endrèze’s documented French repertory, Escamillo and Nilakantha were parts he sang early in his career, but never in Paris. Both are impressive. He can also be heard in his two Roméo roles, Mercutio—a notorious tongue-twister, elegantly negotiated—and Capulet. The four extracts from Hamlet are among the gems of his recorded legacy, especially since he was the last major singer to appear in the role on stage with some regularity; here again, it is tempting to believe that some of Faure’s heritage was transmitted to him via Reszke. There is much to admire: the expressive diction and firm tones of “Spectre infernal;” the sober eloquence of “Être ou ne pas être;” the fine contrasts and long trill of the drinking song; and the sensitive shading of the Act 5 arioso. Next to his classic Valentin arias in Gounod’s Faust, the two samples of Endrèze’s Mephisto are particularly valuable, since they show how good the part sounds when sung by a real baritone—as it was in 1869, with Faure, when the work entered the repertory of the Opéra. His Berlioz Mephisto is properly suave. A comparative rarity, Le roi Arthus, which Endrèze sang in concert (it was never staged in Paris), is, as noted, vocally impressive, as is the Guillaume Tell—an aria he can only have sung in concert, given the paucity of revivals of Rossini’s masterpiece in the first half of the twentieth century. Not on the same musical level intrinsically, Harès’s aria from Act 2 of de Lara’s Messaline is an exciting souvenir of an opera Endrèze kept alive as long as he appeared in it. The Samson extract provides another instance of Endrèze’s péché mignon, the intrusive “h” in “Isra-h-ël.” What a pity he was not asked to record the Act 2 duet with Cernay!
Most important of all perhaps are the Massenet extracts. Though Endrèze never knew Massenet personally, his two mentors had worked with him closely: Jean de Reszke had premiered Le Cid and was also a notable interpreter of Jean in Hérodiade; as for Hahn, not only had he studied with Massenet, but he was one of his greatest admirers and disciples. Whether or not Endrèze studied the role of Herod with Reszke, the two Hérodiade arias are models of nuance and coloration. Even more impressive are the Thaïs excerpts: Athanaël’s curse on Alexandria is delivered with the firm tones and impassioned delivery required; as for the Oasis Duet with Yvonne Gall, it is surely a benchmark by which to measure other interpretations. One’s only regret is that the two did not record more, especially the final duet. It is doubtful that he ever appeared on stage as the Count in Manon—another role, like Nilakantha, in which basses are more frequently cast than baritones.
Endrèze, who, unlike many of his Opéra colleagues, never appeared outside France, recorded his Italian repertory in the language in which he always sang it, but in such good French that one hardly misses the original; and one could add that Verdi, who knew French perfectly, carefully supervised the French versions of his works. The style is very French too and the expression characteristically sober—with just a hint of a sob at the end of “Cortigiani.” The three Otello highlights are of particular interest and offer a chance to hear the unfamiliar René Verdière (1889–1981). A specialist of French and Wagnerian roles, he premiered Mariotte’s Gargantua at the Opéra-Comique in 1935 and as late as 1953 appeared as Adario in Maurice Lehmann’s famous staging of Les Indes galantes. Endrèze may not have sung Renato except once or twice in Cannes in 1931, but “Eri tu” shows him at his best. Alfio and Tonio were two of Endrèze’s early roles: he brings a touch of youthfulness to the former (who thus sounds like Turridu’s coeval and rival) and a touch of elegance to the latter, including an unexpected appoggiatura. Mady Arty, who can be heard briefly as Mamma Lucia, sang with him in La vivandière. While Colline is a part he probably never tackled outside the recording studio, Endrèze was reputed as Scarpia, and it is fitting that the longest part of his recorded legacy should be in this role. We have found no evidence that he appeared in it opposite Ninon Vallin, with whom his one documented partnership was in Carmen.
Endrèze’s German repertory, save for a late appearance in The Magic Flute, was limited to Wagner. Regrets not to have any trace of his Kurwenal are amply compensated by the three Tannhäuser extracts (how well he enunciates the French of the Paris version!) and Wotan’s Farewell. The Dutchman monologue, secure and firm in tone, is equally striking.
Endrèze was equally at ease on stage and on the concert platform, where his superb delivery served him well. In the two Franck selections and the Lara “Rondel de l’adieu”, he almost manages to transcend the period-piece banality of the orchestral accompaniment. As for the twelve songs he recorded with piano, they give one the opportunity to hear him, for once, in languages other than French—and dare one say that he impresses more in German than in his native tongue? The gems are, nevertheless, the two Faurés, the delightful Paladilhe, and the three Hahns, with the considerable bonus of having the composer as accompanist.
Among the songs he recorded for the French radio in the late 1930s or early 1940s, particularly interesting, on account of their relative rarity, are the Chaussons, Nanny and Hébé, both from his opus 2; and the even rarer Paysages tristes, the cycle on Verlaine poems composed in 1886 by Charles Bordes (1863–1909), a disciple of César Franck, chiefly remembered for being, along with Vincent d’Indy, one of the founders of the Schola cantorum in 1894.