Author Topic: LES TROYENS  (Read 4617 times)

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Offline knight66

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LES TROYENS
« on: April 08, 2007, 01:09:23 PM »
I notice this release in July on DVD.

Berlioz - LES TROYENS ~ Jessye Norman, Tatiana Troyanos, Placido Domingo, Allan Monk, Paul Plishka; Fabrizio Melano; James Levine, Metropolitan Opera 1983 (DG)

Is anyone familiar with this performance? There are extracts on YouTube of what is probably the performance that will be issued.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RtHh313CI4&mode=related&search=

it looks good to me, I do think Norman's voice fits Berlioz well. It is a pity that her studio recordings of the two main scenes from Faust have never been issued.

Did anyone see this production? At the moment it looks like one I will buy when it appears.

Mike
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Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2007, 02:04:37 PM »
Looks interesting.

What's the alternative as far as DVDs go out there? I can't imagine there being a while lot of choices.

Offline knight66

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2007, 02:15:08 PM »
There are several, but I have not taken the plunge. The newish Gardiner one has been much praised, but I saw the second half on TV and somehow it did not meet the epic aspects of the work. I like Susan Graham, but thought her a penny plain Dido. Amazon show four DVD versions.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_d_h_/026-2800580-8030813?url=search-alias%3Ddvd&field-keywords=troyans

Mike

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Wendell_E

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2007, 03:18:53 PM »
The Met DVD was previously available on Pioneer, though I'm sure the new DG release will be even better.  I kept meaning to get the Pioneer release, if only for sentimental reasons, since I saw that production of Troyens that season with the same cast as the DVD on my first trip to New York in 1983.  So I'll probably get the new DG release.

I do have the Gardiner DVD, and love it.  I really prefer the Paris production to the Met's.  Susan Grahm does strike me as more All-American Girl than Cartaginian Queen, especially at the beginning, but by the end I'm won over.  Troyanos is wonderful in the role on the Met DVD, as are both of the (very different) Cassandres (Norman and Antonacci).


Levine does used the standard text, which I prefer, while Gardiner goes back to Berlioz' original plan for the ending (but with some cuts).  Otherwise they're both uncut.

There is a third DVD out there, which I've never seen, from the Salzburg festival with Polaski as Cassandre and Didon.  I hear it does have some cuts, particularly in the ballet music, which might not be a bad thing for some people, though I'd hate to lose any of that music.

Offline knight66

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 04:16:03 PM »
Thanks for that...yes, as usual Gardiner went for a recovery of some music no one had used for a century, if ever, and I did feel that it did not improve at all the admittedly rather weak final minutes.

Mike
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Offline T-C

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 12:10:39 AM »
The Met 1983 production is a typical Met production: heavy period sets and costumes (lots of men in skirts…). From this point of view I vastly prefer the Gardiner 2003 Chatelet production. As for the singing: Norman and Troyanos are wonderful. Domingo, a singer that I value a lot, is not especially successful as Eneas. This role is a bit high for him and he himself had doubts whether he should sing it. But he is very good in the great act 4 love duet. The other roles are generally sung adequately.

For my taste, the Gardiner is first choice for Les Troyens on DVD even though I agree that the finale he chose is less effective. Second choice is the Salzburg 2000 Wernicke’s production with the very impressive Deborah Polaski as both Dido and Cassandra. The Met is third choice. Too bad the Met did not film their 2003 production with the late Lorraine Hunt as Dido.

Offline knight66

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2007, 01:11:05 AM »

Too bad the Met did not film their 2003 production with the late Lorraine Hunt as Dido.


Hi TC good to see you. Yes, an opportunity now lost altogether. Though strange things do surface. After being told for many years that the only Callas live stage performance ever filmed was Tosca Act 2 from Covent Garden, yesterday I happened across a chunk of Act 2 from Paris. Odd that it replicates what was known to be available and a pity in a way.

But going back to the Met Troyens....being a sucker for Norman and Troyanos, I will probably give it a whirl. I just hope it is not as dramatically dead as their Don Carlo with Domingo.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

karlhenning

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2007, 04:09:25 AM »
Maybe this is just fostering rumor, Mike . . . but is that the production of the Static Staging?

Offline Todd

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2007, 05:25:58 AM »
I'm almost interested in this new DVD set, but then I just don't know since Levine is at the helm.  The other set (the 2000 set appears to be listed twice) doesn't really interest me.  No, I think Gardiner is the way to go for the AV experience, for Antonacci alone.  If anyone tries the Levine, do report back; I haven't heard a new Troyens in a couple years, and I'm getting itchy.
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Offline knight66

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2007, 07:31:10 AM »
Static Staging....I don't know what the press was like for the Levine production, so it may be a stand and deliver..which might be preferable to the wax-work wander around in impossible stiff costumes and deliver that plagues the Don Carlo.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Hector

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2007, 03:31:54 AM »
Looks interesting.

What's the alternative as far as DVDs go out there? I can't imagine there being a while lot of choices.

J. E. Gardiner at Chatelet.

Offline Anne

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2007, 08:07:58 AM »
I like the '83 Met version with Troyanos and Norman.  Their voices are good and their clothing is natural; they actually look like they are living in the days of Dido and Aeneas!  What a revelation!  I also like the singing better than that in the Gardner version.

Just my opinion.

karlhenning

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2007, 08:15:36 AM »
What are your impressions of the staging, Anne?

Offline Anne

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2007, 09:01:47 AM »
What are your impressions of the staging, Anne?

I liked it.  The Trojan horse is on stage all the time in the first part.  It hovers ominously over all and, I think, provides support for the truth of Cassandra's (she who was condemned to always foretell the future but that no one would believe her) warning but at the same time illustrates the frustration and agony of her punishment.*

Throughout, the sets were helpful to the viewer, especially anyone unfamiliar with the original story of Aeneas, Dido and Cassandra.  Berlioz loved that type of setting, especially the classics.  The love scene looked like a love scene at night in that time frame (Dido reclines on a "sofa" with Aeneas standing/kneeling close beside her .  The music from that scene is so beautiful.  This was not a minimalist setting.  Money had definitely been spent to aid the viewer's comprehension.  I hope this was what you wanted.

*  I forget the details but she had offended Zeus or one of the gods prior to this story and her fortelling the future but no one believing it was her punishment.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 09:08:29 AM by Anne »

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2007, 08:06:52 AM »
Back to CD versions of this opera: are there other recordings out there by big name labels other than Davis(twice) and Dutoit? Why are there so few CD versions of this work. I would think nowadays its length is not really an issue, afterall there must be at least a dozen recordings of Tristan or Walkuere out there and those operas are even longer.

As good as the two Davis versions are out there, it is missing some orchestral opulence. Only if we can get a more weighty orchestra like the VPO or Concertgebouw to record this piece, that emphasize very ff and color of the score...
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 11:02:05 AM by PerfectWagnerite »

Wendell_E

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2007, 12:30:26 PM »
Back to CD versions of this opera: are there other recordings out there by big name labels other than Davis(twice) and Dutoit? Why are there so few CD versions of this work. I would think nowadays its length is not really an issue, afterall there must be at least a dozen recordings of Tristan or Walkuere out there and those operas are even longer.

Yeah, those are the only big-name-label recordings.  As for the lack of recordings, I think that's partially due to the lack of performances of the opera.  Operabase* only lists 10 upcoming performances at two theatres (Deutsche Oper am Rhein and Le Grand Théâtre de Genève).  In contrast, it lists 49 Walküres at 17 theatres and 53 Tristans at 12 theatres. 

It's a shame EMI just recorded a two-disc set of excerpts with Crespin and Prêtre, instead of the whole thing.  I know at one time I read that Barenboim was supposed to record the opera as part of his DG Berlioz cycle, but that never happened (that's probably less of a shame, though).

*I know a lot of performances apparently aren't on Operabase's radar, so I also checked at The Hector Berlioz Website, which agrees, but also mentions the upcoming Boston Symphony Orchestra concert performances.

Offline Todd

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2007, 12:43:00 PM »
Back to CD versions of this opera: are there other recordings out there by big name labels other than Davis(twice) and Dutoit?


It's just not an especially popular opera, and given the large cast, it probably costs a lot to produce.  Of the three versions you mention, Davis I & II are superior to Dutout, though the sound of the Dutoit is superb.

If you can stand poor-ish sound, there's an Italian language, cut version with Rafael Kubelik conducting on Myto (and other labels) that has Mario del Monaco as Aeneas.  I'm hoping that the new Royal Opera series reissues Kubelik's earlier, English language recording as well.  There's also a Georges Pretre live set on a Opera d'Oro, and an old Beecham recording supposedly exists somewhere, too.  Perhaps a new recording will be forth-coming in the future, but I'll bet all will be DVDs.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2007, 11:11:39 AM »
Thanks for your replies Todd and Wendell. As large a cast as Les Troyens requires, it doesn't SEEM to be terribly difficult to record. The principles do not sing together. Aside from the large chorus( which I guess is a big problem) it actually looks manageable.

One thing that amazes me about Les Troyens is that despite its length and size, it is actually for the most part very lightly scored. The duets between Cassandre and Chorebus, and Aeneus and Dido are so light instrumentally they practically sound like Mendelssohn. Even the loud passages are not nearly as loud as Wagner or late Verdi.

It is really ashamed, I don't think either of the Davis, or Dutoit is an ideal recording...

Offline mjwal

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Re: LES TROYENS
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2007, 07:42:33 AM »
There's also a Scherchen recording of Les Troyens à Carthage, but I've never heard it unfortunately. A pity Gielen's great performance - with a black Dido - at the Frankfurt opera in the 70s was not recorded.
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karlhenning

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Re: Les Troyens
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2008, 07:02:18 AM »
Were at Symphony Hall last night for Part II of Les Troyens.  A few quarrels with the singers notwithstanding, it was a marvelous performance and rich experience.

Jimmy done it again  8)

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