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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… read more

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