Léopold Simoneau and Pierrette Alarie
an appreciation
(a disco-hagiography)











Léopold Simoneau (1916-Québec; 2006-Victoria)
Pierrette Alarie (b.1921, Montréal)

Two of the finest Mozart singers of this century and, most likely, any century since Mozart wrote his music for Michael Kelly and Aloysia Lange (née Weber).  Mozart, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Berlioz, Massenet, Ravel, Debussy, Duparc, Bizet, Offenbach, Gounod, Schumann, Verdi et al, they did it all!  Not only were they each masters of their individual vocal techniques, but were extremely faithful to the stylistic traditions of the composers and the eras from which their repertoires were selected.  Their artistic goals were not to sing "everything" but to limit their performances to the musical literature best befitted to the uniqueness of their individual voices.  Within the constraints of their vocal abilities, most of their musical interpretations border on the condition of being "definitive."  Concomitant to their appearances on the opera and concert stages of the world, they were dedicated to the promulgation of the music of Canadian composers as well, as will their large discographies attest.  They were the first singers to record what is considered to be Canada's first opera, Quesnel's Colas et Colinette (1790). Their recorded legacy of elegant, eloquent vocal mastery is a tribute to their individual and collective dedication to a fashion of classical vocal expression which appears to be diminished and already faded from the opera and concert stages of today.  Alas!  Newer generations of classical vocal aficionados are discovering the art of Léopold and Pierrette through the re-release of their recorded tradition now on CDs.  The Durbeck Archive continues to be one of the primary resources of their legendary culture on the long playing (LP) record.  Contemporary jargon might hypothesize that "they are a tough act to follow;" while in the "real world," they were an act which has seldom been followed, but never equaled. Chapeau!

A select discography for Léopold Simoneau and Pierrette Alarie

Individual Recital LPs

Ladies First:

 London Ducretet-Thomson,   DTL 93089


 Westminster                           XWN 18789


 Philips (Holland) 10" LP          N 00663 R


 Philips (France) 10" LP         S 06.094 R


Ducretet Thomson  10" LP  260 C 088
Pierrette sings: De Falla's Psyché


 CBC                                    MBS 3418-19
Pierrette sings: Jean Papineau-Couture,
John Beckwith and Clermont Pepin

Telefunken (Germany)              BLE 14011

Westminster-Gold (USA)         WGM 8316


And now, the Gentleman

 Philips (England) 10"               ABR 4053


 Decca (USA)                               DL 9968


 London Ducretet-Thomson     DTL 93091


 Heliodor (Germany)                     478 119


 Epic (USA)                                   LC 3262


 Ducretet-Thomson (Fr) 10"     270 C 088


DGG (England), DGM 19101        12" LP


Page 1 ............. Introduction and Individual Recital LPs
Page 2 ................................. Ensemble and Choral LPs
Page 3 ............... The Operas and Opera Discography
Page 4 ........................ Miscellaneous LPs; The Books;
                                                    an epilogical encomium

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