Berthe Sylva Berthe Sylva
Billed as the greatest of the Depression-era chanteuses, Sylva certainly had a strong, authoritative air about her -- not strident or overstated, simply very clear and very perfect. She sounds rather reserved in comparison to Edith Piaf, but these 1930s Odeon recordings are still very moving and will captivate your attention. The arrangements are also quite striking -- compact, tightly crafted, and the apex, perhaps, of monophonic recording. Nothing is lost, cramped or muddled, and the light orchestrations by bandleaders Andre Valsien and Andre Cadou are, well, simply perfect for every tune.

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