Maurice Bensa

Maurice Bensa sings La Juive: Dieu, que ma voix tremblante
In RA format
Bensa's career is largely undocumented, and to make things worse, part of what little you can find comes from French voice teacher (and notorious storyteller) Roger Yaëche, and is pure fiction: that Bensa, who (as customary in France at the period) never used his first name in public, was called "Jules", and that he sang at the Paris Opéra in 1918 (easy to disprove since he is not in Stéphane Wolff's exhaustive list of Opéra singers); that he participated in the world premiere of Mazellier's Graziella in Rouen 1913 (in reality, the tenor role was sung by another singer with no first name: Pascual).

There are exceedingly few reliable facts on Maurice Bensa: Gramophone Records, for whom he recorded in April 1908, in their catalog said he was of the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. In 1909, he was a member of the Théâtre Graslin in Nantes, and in 1910, of the Théâtre Municipal in Dunkerque.

Reference 1; reference 2: Alan Kelly, His Master's Voice/La voix de son maître: The French catalogue. A complete numerical catalogue of French Gramophone recordings made from 1898 to 1929, New York/Westport/London 1990; reference 3: Le Mercure Musical, 15 December 1910; reference 4


Gramophone, Paris, April 1908
5831h     Quand l'oiseau chante (Tagliafico)		3-32817
5832h     Quand tu chantes, berger (Gounod)		3-32811
5833½h    La Juive: Dieu, que ma voix tremblante	3-32818

Favorite, Paris, May 1908
	  Sigurd: Esprits gardiens			1-5341
	  Mandolinata (Paladilhe)			1-5344

Aérophone, Paris, 1911 or 1912
1176      La favorite: Ange si pur			1176
1177      L'attaque du moulin: Adieu, forêt profonde	1177
1178	  Le beau rêve (Flégier)			1178
1179	  Hosanna (Granier)				1179

Disque Opéra, Paris, 1912
S-1013	  Hosanna (Granier)				540, La Semeuse 1013
S-1014	  Le beau rêve (Flégier)			540, La Semeuse 1014
Source for the discography: Gesellschaft für historische Tontäger, Wien

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