Charpentier: La Descente d'Orphee aux Enfers
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The main characters in this dreamy opera are Orpheus and his new young bride Euridice, who is bitten by a poisonous snake on their wedding day. Orpheus descends to Hades to persuade Pluto to allow Euridice to return to life on earth. There are other shades in Hades and these characters make Hades a very musical place. It is Pluto's wife Proserpine who convinces her husband to allow Euridice to return and here the opera ends.
The beauty of this opera is outstanding. There is a short overture followed by a cascade of selections sung by the characters in the upper world and most expressively by the characters of the underworld.Read more ›
After all, the classics were the bread and the butter of the education at that time, and it's not a wild guess to suppose that every french who had access to this music at that time, knew quite well the story of Orpheus and Euridyce.
So i believe that at the end of the opera the audience knew what next.
This opera is quite different from those unbearable and boring operas from, let's say, 1750-2011, especially because it's simply a great piece of music, no matter the genre, and also... because it's not 3 or 4 hours long.
The performance is superb in every respect: the great Christie and his orchestra,
and the excellent role of Orpheus performed by Paul Agnew. If i was Plouton, i would not let him return to the earth!
The recording is good and quite balanced.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This CD is included in a 4-cd box set, from Amazon, for $24.99 ($6.25 per CD!). Search Amazon using "William Christie Conducts Charpentier" (product title) or better yet just put... Read morePublished on August 3, 2013 by Thomas Ramey
I guess most of people must know this story of Orphee and Enfers, but not popular to Charpentier's famous list. Read morePublished on October 20, 2007 by HSIEH CHENG CHUNG
Charpentier was arguably the most talented French Composer during the years of the Sun King, but was sidelined by the politically savvy Italian born Lully, and as a result we have... Read morePublished on July 11, 1999