Author Topic: Operas in french written by non-french composers  (Read 3443 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Operas in french written by non-french composers
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2016, 09:16:17 PM »
Martinu's Julietta, Alexandre bis, and Ariane all have French libretti.
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Offline Spineur

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Re: Operas in french written by non-french composers
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2016, 06:02:04 AM »
Yep !  I will add them.  Amazing I missed Julietta  (I have the Kozena excerpt).  There is a recording of the full version that just came out
 


I have never heard Ariane.  Have you ?  It has also been recorded recently.

A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Operas in french written by non-french composers
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2016, 06:44:38 AM »
Off the main topic, but there are also vocal works in French composed by non-French composers.

Three composers immediately come to mind, while I'm sure there are many more.

Stravinsky ~ Songs; Two poems of Paul Verlaine and Two poems of Konstantin Balmont.

Benjamin Britten ~ Les Illuminations, verse and prose poems of Arthur Rimbaud.

Samuel Barber ~ Mélodies passagères, the texts are the Poèmes français by Rainer Maria Rilke (another exception -- Rilke wrote mainly in German.)

I think it is at least a bit of a pity that Richard Strauss worked from a German Translation of Wilde's Salome, that play written in French.  Strauss' Salome, using Wilde's original text en français as the basis for the libretto is a tantalizing 'what if.'


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Offline knight66

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Re: Operas in french written by non-french composers
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2016, 12:38:38 PM »
A what if no more. There are at least two versions in French, one of which is on Naxos. The link below explains that Strauss authorised the orig French text and amended some passages to fit the French text. I am very, very tempted.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/Sept08/Strauss_Salome_cds5721.htm


Mike

PS I have listened briefly on Spotify and I have ordered this set.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0018J91PC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 01:00:40 PM by knight66 »
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Offline Spineur

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Re: Operas in french written by non-french composers
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2016, 05:52:49 AM »
A what if no more. There are at least two versions in French, one of which is on Naxos. The link below explains that Strauss authorised the orig French text and amended some passages to fit the French text. I am very, very tempted.

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/Sept08/Strauss_Salome_cds5721.htm


Mike

I found a radio broadcast of the "french" Salomé on France Musique web site
http://www.francemusique.fr/player/resource/49941-56359
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Offline knight66

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Re: Operas in french written by non-french composers
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2016, 07:48:16 AM »
Thanks for that, I will try to find time tomorrow morning and give it a go.

Cheers,

Mike
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Offline Spineur

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Re: Operas in french written by non-french composers
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2016, 11:54:13 AM »
I managed to watch Koukourgi this week end, which had been sitting on the "to do" pile for too long !


Koukourgi is a comic opera composed by Cherubini around 1792, during the French revolution.  It is a satyrical piece on the "ancien régime" transposed to china.  Koukourgi is a Mandarin, with a character pretty close to Louis XVI, lazy, coward and interested in women and food.  The other important character is Zulma, a young a beautiful princess, and Alezan a beautiful and courageous soldier who free Zulma father held hostage by some Tartar in a castle.  Koukourgi court Zulma who is in love with Alezan.  In the end Alezan is victorious and Koukourgi is sent home to his mom assuming his mediocrity.
The libretto as you see is rather shallow and doesnt amount too much, but the same is not true of the opera.
Koukourgi was never completed and staged, presumably because of the Terror.  The score got lost, and by one of these mystery of history was found in Krakow library after the war.  The prelude and the end of the final scene of the opera were missing.  The prelude was taken from another opera and so was the final scene.  The completed opera was staged in 2010 at Klagenfurt (Austria) theater and this is what has been filmed live on this DVD.  The staging is nice, and the costumes absolutely magnificent.
The music is very Mozartian and absolutely lovely.  A lot of duos and trios and not so many arias, as in Mozart operas.  There is some repetitions (da capo), but it is never tedious.
A light comic opera really fun to watch, and we had a great time with it.
As an opera, Lodoiska and Médée are probably a bit more interesting, mostly because of the libretti.
I discovered that two other Cherubini operas have been recorded (so there are a total of 6 available): Les Deux Journées (Op 111, Naive) and Les Abencerages (Arts Archives).
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

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