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Massenet: Esclarmonde Original recording reissued


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, October 10, 2006
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$59.99
$31.99 $11.99
$59.99 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by newbury_comics and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Disc: 1
1. Dignitaires! Guerriers!
2. Roland! Roland! Comme Ce Nom Me Trouble
3. Parseis!-O Ma Soeur
4. Ah! Trop Malheureuse Esclarmonde!
5. On Vient, Ma Soeur!
6. C'en Est Fait!
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. O Blois! Miserable Cite!
2. Kyrie Eleison
3. Dieu De Misericorde!
4. Noble Heros!
5. Gloire! Chantons Notre Victoire!
6. Gloire! Chantons Notre Victoire!
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. entendez Tous
2. Oui, Le Delai Marque S'Avance
3. Les Temps Vont S'Accomplir
4. Elle A Voulu Choisir
5. D'une Longue Torpeur
6. Ou Suis-Je Maintenant?
See all 10 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: Joan Sutherland, Giacomo Aragall, Huguette Tourangeau, Clifford Grant, Graham Clark, et al.
  • Orchestra: National Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Richard Bonynge
  • Composer: Jules Massenet
  • Audio CD (October 10, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B000I8OFH8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,103 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By The Cultural Observer on June 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Massenet's Esclarmonde is a very rarely performed work, and after listening to this recording, one can see why. The title role requires the voice of a dramatic coloratura soprano, a very rare species of soprani rarer probably than Wagner's great hochdramatische sopranos. In fact, I know of only two sopranos who possess this certain kind of voice--Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland. Both singers had voices the size fit for Wagnerian roles, but had the agility so required for the bel canto repertoire. In a role such as Esclarmonde, Joan Sutherland had the advantage over Callas due to the fascinating ease of her upper register. The title role in Esclarmonde not only has to endure the kind of vocal writing which makes them sing their parts with an agility required of a Konigin der Nacht, but also a vocal size large enough to carry over an orchestra equivalent to that used by Wagnerian operas. Natalie Dessay can easily sing the role, for example, but when Massenet decides to emulate a Wagnerian orchestra...well, Dessay will probably end up losing her voice. Anyways, Joan Sutherland is fantastic in the role. She handles the coloratura with such an agility that if this were her only role, it would make her singing legendary. It is an excellent characterization of the wronged sorceress, and I would recommend this recording highly for anyone willing to listen to Massenet composing out of his regular intimate drama.

Giacomo Aragall, Clifford Grant (an excellent Fafner, by the way), Graham Clark, and Tourangeau, all make up an excellent supporting cast for La Stupenda. That said, I must also commend Bonynge for his excellent conducting in such a rarely performed work.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Edward Flaspoehler on October 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have listend to this recording many times, and like it very much. It is a wonderful opera and a thrilling performance. Joan Sutherland is at her best, and the rest of the cast is fine. However, any resemblance to Wagner is merely superficial, and apparently based on a casual use of Leitmotives. To me, this music does not sound like Wagner at all, and comes nowhere near his use of chromaticism and symphonic development, not to mention psychological depth. In fact, I think calling it Wagnerian based on merely the size of the orchestra does both Wagner and Massenet an injustice. Massenet speaks for himself, and does not need to be compared to any other composer, including Wagner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By st on June 19, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This operais called Wagnerian because of its huge orchestra and leitmotiv system, but also becuse Massenet made up his own Wagner style while writing it: that is, there are some elements which, say, Werther,lacks and that are quite close to Wanger without being Wagner (Masseet was trying to compete with Wagner with Esclarmonde). That's what makes many people confused. Now,the story is quite simple - there's not even the regular opera love-triagle - but is really effective, full of impressions from epic and chivalric tales such as Orlando Furioso and Chanson de Roland(the tenor is named Roland after Ariosto's protagonist, by the way). It's outrageous this opera has remained so long forgotten. Anyone who claims to know and love opera MUST have it.
The music is overwhelming, especially soprano/tenor duets such as act 2 "Voici le divin moment" (astounding) and the magic moments (probably the most famous pièce from the whole opera is the spell-aria "Esprits de l'air! Esprits de l'onde!").
Woderful cast (though I have my issues with Tourangeau, whose voice noneteless affects the recording far less thandoes, say, Vejzoic's in Karajan's Lohengrin, Parsifal and Holländer). Sutherland is simply divine. Aragall is very good (far better sounding than in some recordings with Sutherland such as Donizetti's "Lucrezia Borgia"). Grant as the Emperor Phorcas is quite impressive, as is Quilico's Evêque (very ambiguous with his sharp, aggressive performance). Tourangeau is ... Tourangeau: sometimes she manages to do it, sometimes no.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hexagone1304 on March 31, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Cet enregistrement a le très grand mérite d'exister et ce grâce à Richard Bonynge et sa complice Joan Sutherland. Malheureusement il y a des bémols, la diction de Sutherland très approximative et de plus elle simplifie la partitions en éludant quelques notes dans le sur-aigu, c'est le grand problème de ce rôle écrit sur mesure pour Sybil Sanderson dont la voix connaissait peu de limites... Quant à Huguette Tourangeau, la voix est d'une laideur peu commune... Ceci dit le reste de la distribution est de haut niveau et Bonynge connait bien la musique français évitant ainsi l'écueil de diriger Massent comme Wagner... Malgré mes réserves, c'est enregistrement que j'aime beaucoup et que tout amateur d'opéra devrait posséder.
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