Author Topic: ~ Baroque Opera ~  (Read 43712 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline The new erato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14005
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #220 on: October 03, 2016, 08:42:20 PM »
Savennieres,

Offline JCBuckley

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 108
  • Location: Brighton, UK
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #221 on: December 10, 2016, 07:55:32 AM »
Coming next month - Mondonville's Isbé, from György Vashegyi & Orfeo Orchestra & Purcell Choir

Offline The new erato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 14005
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #222 on: December 10, 2016, 09:02:34 AM »
Coming next month - Mondonville's Isbé, from György Vashegyi & Orfeo Orchestra & Purcell Choir
Ow, ow, ow, me want!

Offline king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3032
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #223 on: January 01, 2017, 09:27:51 AM »
Seems there's no general Händel operas thread here, right? So allow me to cross-post this (from the listening thread) here - reference is made to the Christie recording (from 1999) which I had played just before:



Compared to Christie, I guess Joyce DiDonato is even more brilliant in the title role than Renée Fleming, the Ruggerios both sound very good (Maite Beaumont, Susan Graham), both Morganas are great (I love Natalie Dessay who sings the part with Christie - she's quite different from Karina Gauvin, who's another favourite and sings with Curtis ... Dessay being more on-the-edge, nervous, livelier), while Christie clearly has the edge on Bradamante, sung wonderfully by Kathleen Kuhlmann (who already sang the part with Hickox in what many still seem to consider the best recording of "Alcina"), while Sonia Prina applies way too much vibrato to my taste ... I guess the men are fine in both, and so are the Obertos, but Laurent Naouri (Melisso w/Christie) is maybe somewhat finer than the others ... in general, the Curtis sound amazing, warm and full (though the orchestra is pretty small, all names are given in the booklet of the full edition, same for chorus which is just the soloists plus six extras). But then, regardless, the Christie performance is more animated, more varied, more lively, I find. Hard to pick, really ... which goes for the Hickox as well, which has Arleen Augér in the title role, Della Jones as Ruggiero, and as mentioned, Kuhlmann as Bradamante. If I had to pick one today, I'd tend to go with the Christie, though the extra aria for Ruggiero that Curtis adds is a clear plus ("Bramo di trionfar", inserted as Scene 7 in Act 1).

Either way, it shall be amazing to hear Bartoli and Jaroussky (and Antonini conducting), I'm sure!


What are people's thoughts on "Alcina" here, what recording(s) do you prefer and why? And is the DVD from Aix with Petibon, Jaroussky, Prohaska et al. (Marcon, Erato) as enticing as it looks? (If it's only half as enticing, I'll have to get it.)
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3395
  • Location: Germany
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #224 on: January 01, 2017, 09:32:57 AM »
Hickox is more complete as far as I recall (I think Christie cuts some of the Ballet music) and Augér preferable to Fleming IMO. But Dessay is great on the Christie (I still got rid of it due to space reasons and only kept the Hickox, maybe some day when I really get into watching opera on DVD I'll get another one).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3032
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #225 on: January 01, 2017, 09:51:00 AM »
Hm, Christie has a few cuts here and there, it seems (or so I read in a review online) - but mostly minor ones (ballet music, a da capo here and there).

Just comparing Curtis with Hickox now (Hickox adds that extra aria, "Bramo di trionfar", with the opening recitative at the end of disc 3 as a bonus), and it seems Curtis omits the ballet music at the end of act 2, but other than that, it's all there (can't tell about repeats or partial cuts of course ... and Hickox adds a chorus bonus, too, "Questo è il cielo de' contenti").
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline king ubu

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3032
  • sic transit gloria mundi
    • ubu's notizen
  • Location: Zurich, Switzerland
  • Currently Listening to:
    all music
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #226 on: February 19, 2017, 06:13:39 AM »
cross-post from the concerts thread:


Zurich Opera, 18 February 2017

MÉDÉE
Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Conductor: William Christie
Producer: Andreas Homoki
Stage design: Hartmut Meyer
Costumes: Mechthild Seipel
Light design: Franck Evin
Choreographische Beratung: Katrin Kolo
Chorus master: Jürg Hämmerli
Dramaturgy: Werner Hintze, Fabio Dietsche

Médée: Stéphanie D’Oustrac
Jason: Reinoud Van Mechelen
Créon: Nahuel Di Pierro
Créuse: Mélissa Petit
Oronte: Ivan Thirion
L’Amour, Captif de l’Amour, Premier Fantôme: Florie Valiquette
Nérine: Carmen Seibel
Arcas, Second Corinthien, La Jalousie: Spencer Lang
Un Argien, La Vengeance: Roberto Lorenzi
Une Italienne: Sandrine Droin
Premier Corinthien, Un Argien, Un Démon: Nicholas Scott
Cleone: Gemma Ni Bhriain
Deuxième Fantôme: Francisca Montiel

Harpsichord: Paolo Zanzu
Lute: Brian Feehan, Juan Sebastian Lima
Cello: Claudius Herrmann
Gamba: Martin Zeller
Violone: Dieter Lange

Orchestra La Scintilla
Chor der Oper Zürich
Members of Les Arts Florissants

Phenomenal in every respect, one of the best opera nights ever, and quite likely to be the highlight of this still young year. How amazing to witness a cast that is really at home in the language in question - not that I actually understood it word by word, but none of the minor to major diction and pronounciation and accent problems that we usually just have to accept when watching opera (and in that respect: what a huge difference to the Milan "Don Carlo"). I've become tolerant long ago about this, but what a huge different to have a fully idiomatic cast! William Christie strictly insists on this, as he mentioned during the matinee in presentation of this new production a few weeks back - the show last night was actually the final one again already - and I fully endorse this, now that I have been able to witness the wonderful results.

So many great things, it's really hard to find words.

Let's start with the play itself. What a wonderful opera, finding a perfect balance between words and music. There's no fat to it, it's just perfect. No vocal girlands, no show-offery, no nothing, just a perfect synchronisation between what is sung and how it is sung (and played). This is not a sequence of numbers with star arias and all that, but really a play. And Homoki's production and stage direction actually made it work in a way that even the Divertissements were quite perfectly integrated into the whole, sort of echo chambers of the main plot.

The choir, enlarged by an haute-contre section from Les Arts florissants, did a wonderful job (as I've come to expect by now - Zurich opera can be really proud of such a fine choir). So did La Scintilla, the HIP orchestra of Zurich opera. They were enlarged by several guests as well, mainly in the winds section, which had a lot of work to do and did just fine. Christie had a harpsichord to play and conduct from, but to his right there was another harpsichord, as well as a small organ. As I could not see much of the orchestra during the play (I could see the recorders and that was pretty cool, too), I don't know how much of the harpsichord continuo was played by Christie himself. The continuo section was really good anyway, bleding into a wonderful and varied sound, using different combinations of the instruments at hand (including the organ I mentioned).

The stage itself was set up very simple, using a second floor that could be lifted to disappear and was often lowered so it was merely a step up from the ground level. On top you would have different colours than downstairs, the lower area was also opened up to the back a few times, but mostly just to let people (or devils) appear and disappear - very effective, and very nice to look at, too. There was hardly any furniture or other stuff on the stage, which fit the unfolding tragedy perfectly well, I found.

And as the tragedy has been mentioned, it really sempt to be the tragedy of Stéphanie d'Oustrac. She was outstanding in the title role, both as a singer as well as an actress - she really became Medea. Yet at the same time it got pretty clear how much love Charpentier must have had for that character, so far beyond any moral categories mankind is used to - not to say a monster. The melodies Chapentier wrote for his Médée are truly beguiling, again and again. Van Mechelen did an outstanding job as well. Most beautiful where the - quite many - moments when they sang at a very low volume. Those pianissimo moments, a few soft harpsichord tones added ... what tension, what vibrancy! At some moments I felt as if I were watching a forbidden scene - the intimacy generated by those very quiet moments was amazing. Of course this again was made possible by the fact that d'Oustrac really filled that role perfectly well, vibrant and intense. The other roles, both larger and smaller, were all cast very well, too. What I found interesting, and it was certainly determined only in part by my own preferences, is how much this is about Medea, the monster, and how relatively little sympathy came up for Créuse (Mélissa Petit was excellent, not her fault at all!) by comparison. Créuse, at least as far as the play seems to tell us, is not the one to blame really for the events that are to unfold - yet it's Medea, the independent and strong character that captures the attention, that is front and center, albeit her doings are horrible beyond belief. This of course creates tension as well, which again is held back or counterbalanced ingeniously by Charpentier's music.

So yeah, great night at the opera!
Es wollt ein meydlein grasen gan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Und do die roten röslein stan:
Fick mich, lieber Peter!
Fick mich mehr, du hast dein ehr.
Kannstu nit, ich wills dich lern.
Fick mich, lieber Peter!

http://ubus-notizen.blogspot.ch/

Offline JCBuckley

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 108
  • Location: Brighton, UK
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #227 on: February 20, 2017, 08:15:40 AM »
The latest Rousset / Lully, released next month:


Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 13692
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Still nuts about harpsichord music and exploring Early Music.
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #228 on: February 20, 2017, 12:51:25 PM »
Oh, wow!  :)

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3674
  • Set design for Le Tricorne (Pablo Picasso)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #229 on: March 11, 2017, 03:56:50 AM »
Cross-posted from the "Purchases today" thread: 
 
Bought this curiosity today in La boite à musique in Brussels:



In 1952, the Paris Opéra presented for the first time in 200 years the complete (but heavily cut) Les Indes galantes. The lavish prodcution was a hit, and was performed over 250 times well into the 1960s. This recording, a radio broadcast from 1954, is almost a "who's who" of French singing of those days (Rita Gorr, Jacqueline Brumaire, Jean Giraudeau, Janine Micheau, Géori Boué, Henri Legay, Roger Bourdin). Nothing even remotely HIP here, of course; the orchestration had been "retouched" by Paul Dukas--one entrée, many years earlier--and Henri Büsser. The conductor is Louis Fourestier.

These Indes galantes inspired two of Nicolas de Staël's (who had seen the staging at the Opéra in 1953) most acclaimed painitings (both in private collections AFAIK):

 
Sampling this, it has a sort of endearing charm to it. The performance is at best adequate, the orchestral textures are very thick, and there are some big ensemble problems at some points (most disturbingly, in "Forêts paisbles..."  >:(. The singers styles span the whole gamut from heroic grand opéra to the more intimate opéra comique, but always in the "grand old manner". But there's also a sense of occasion, of rediscovery, which is captivating. Tolerable sound for a 1954 broadcast (and it includes the introdcutory comments by the announcer, as weedll as some comments between numbers--which sometimes have not finished when the music restarts  ::) -- the ORTF never quite master this aspect, I'm afraid,  as I've listened to broadcasts from the 70s where it also happens).
Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
"Muchacho, no te metas en dibujos, sino haz lo que ese señor te manda: sigue tu canto llano y no te metas en contrapuntos, que se suelen quebrar de sotiles".

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1796
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #230 on: March 11, 2017, 04:22:28 AM »
Interesting...  Do you know if a DVD of this 1954 production exist ?  Paris opera had and still has an amazing "corps de Ballet", and in the indes galantes it must have been a "grand spectacle".
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 ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3674
  • Set design for Le Tricorne (Pablo Picasso)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #231 on: March 11, 2017, 08:28:36 AM »
Interesting...  Do you know if a DVD of this 1954 production exist ?  Paris opera had and still has an amazing "corps de Ballet", and in the indes galantes it must have been a "grand spectacle".
Not to my knowledge, and I think it unlikely (are there any filmed opera performances from France from those years?). The choreagraphy was by several artists, Serge Lifar among them. The sets also were a team effort, apparently, with Georges Wakhévitch being the only familiar name to me. The production was by Maurice Lehmann (of whom I had never heard of until now  :-[). Here the metteur en scène speaks about the production.

A picture of the lavish sets:


Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
"Muchacho, no te metas en dibujos, sino haz lo que ese señor te manda: sigue tu canto llano y no te metas en contrapuntos, que se suelen quebrar de sotiles".

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1796
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #232 on: March 11, 2017, 08:57:59 AM »
(are there any filmed opera performances from France from those years?).
Thank you Ritter.  Sometimes traveling through time is a very compelling fantasy.  As far as filmed operas, they exist, but most of the time they are not available to the public: everything that got filmed by the french TV is in the INA archives and the INA does not throw anything away.  However, making something available is the result of some editorial policy, i.e. politics and finances, two things that have been running in deep trouble lately.  Here is an example: I got interested in Tansman last opera Sabbataï Zévi, le faux messie.  I contacted Tansman daughter who certified that the INA had a copy of the original recording.  I contacted them, and they told me that they were not interested in making a public release of this work.  Maybe not Le mot de la fin, because such an editorial view comes from a director whose tenure is limited.  New director, new editorial policy... Hopes goes on....
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 ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3674
  • Set design for Le Tricorne (Pablo Picasso)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #233 on: March 11, 2017, 09:09:53 AM »
Thank you Ritter.  Sometimes traveling through time is a very compelling fantasy.  As far as filmed operas, they exist, but most of the time they are not available to the public: everything that got filmed by the french TV is in the INA archives and the INA does not throw anything away.  However, making something available is the result of some editorial policy, i.e. politics and finances, two things that have been running in deep trouble lately.  Here is an example: I got interested in Tansman last opera Sabbataï Zévi, le faux messie.  I contacted Tansman daughter who certified that the INA had a copy of the original recording.  I contacted them, and they told me that they were not interested in making a public release of this work.  Maybe not Le mot de la fin, because such an editorial view comes from a director whose tenure is limited.  New director, new editorial policy... Hopes goes on....
L'espoir ne meurt jamais. In any event, you are lucky in France to have the INA, which preserves so much valuable material and makes a good chunk of it available to the public...  :)
Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
"Muchacho, no te metas en dibujos, sino haz lo que ese señor te manda: sigue tu canto llano y no te metas en contrapuntos, que se suelen quebrar de sotiles".

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1796
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #234 on: April 19, 2017, 11:05:18 AM »
After the wonderful Amadis de Gaule, the opera in french composed by Johann Christian Bach I had to get his Zanaida



David Stern (son of Isaac the violinist) discovered a complete score of this opera in the library of an American collector in 2010 and decided to exhume this interesting opera and record it. Compared to Amadis which is firmly classical, this leans a bit toward the baroque with Mozartian idioms.  I love the musical style of this period, where elegance was always at the forefront.



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 Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1796
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #235 on: May 04, 2017, 01:28:19 PM »
Titon et L'aurore, Mondonville



This is an OOP cd, I acquired after some negotiations with the Rakuten seller.  This opera was supposed to represent french baroque.  I do not find it quite as interesting as Isbé released recently with modern recording techniques (reviewed in another thread).  The diction of the singers is remarquably good.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 10:05:15 AM by Spineur »
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 Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1796
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: ~ Baroque Opera ~
« Reply #236 on: July 17, 2017, 10:03:57 AM »
Beside Zanaida (posted above), I recently listened to la Clemenza de Scipione, but in term of recorded operas of J.-C. Bach, my clear favorite is this Amadis de Gaule.  There is so much energy in it, it is a truely uplifting moment for me.

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

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK