- Sorry, this item is not available in
- Image not available
- To view this video download Flash Player
|Price:||$29.35 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details|
Many will seek out this account chiefly for the presence of Renée Fleming in the title role, and she indeed crafts a memorable portrayal of Thaïs's path from worldly irony to trusting soul. Fleming deploys her familiar, unique vocal style with subtlety for the earlier scenes of Thaïs as courtesan, delivering her great aria of doubt with a Marschallin-like vulnerability. Indeed, it's the breathy sumptuousness typical of her voice that makes the converted Thaïs almost more of a challenge--although Fleming does achieve a noticeable softening effect, above all in her death scene. As the monk who tries to repress his very worldly feelings for Thaïs, Thomas Hampson clearly carries the seeds of doubt from his first scene; if anything, the contrast between his two selves isn't stark enough, and he brings too much vocal polish to the scenes where we should hear a John the Baptist in hair shirt. Still, Hampson's sensitivity, however reserved, elicits the crucial sense of compassion for Athanaël's predicament. As Nicias, the cultured lover of Thaïs, Giuseppe Sabbatini is excellent--their bittersweet farewell duet actually contains some of the best chemistry on the whole set. True, Massenet's score succumbs to passages of filler (for example, much of the ballet music) that aren't at the level of its more inspired lyrical stretches, but young conductor Yves Abel (making his Decca debut) captures its integral, supple beauty despite some roughness in transitions and an occasionally raw surface from the orchestra. Sound balances are less than ideal. An excellent booklet with full libretto is included. --Thomas May
Although this seems simple enough, it becomes very complex when one pauses to really think about it.
I would recommend this exceptionally good performance to all opera buffs, particularly those inclined to the French works.
Renee Fleming possesses a truly sumptuous and very beautiful voice, perhaps one of the most beautiful of our time.
This is almost certainly the best available recorded performance of Massenet's Thais. Fleming (in truly fine form) and Hampson are as dependable as always, and the entire ensemble... Read morePublished 5 months ago by B. Nyberg
Breathtaking solos and duets, Renee Fleming is Thais. A gorgeous recording, filled with sensuality and religion! Read morePublished 7 months ago by Daniel G. Madigan
First time I've heard this opera, and with no preconceived notions I enjoyed it thoroughly. Renee Flemming is fantastic, at turns sultry and penitent. Read morePublished 17 months ago by J. Runaas
Massenet - Thaïs / Fleming, Hampson, Sabbatini, Shkosa, Vidal, Devellereau, Cals, Yves Abel is a 1998 Decca release starring Renée Fleming in the role of Thais. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Bjorn Viberg
This is the second recording of Thais I have purchased from you - one for me and one for my niece's birthday. It is a great recording. Read morePublished on March 25, 2011 by Libby
I have owned this recording since its appearance and played it often without bothering to review it as it received a lot of attention and many reviews on Amazon, mostly approving. Read morePublished on December 5, 2010 by Ralph Moore
Thais, with its remarkable but rather unusual plot (the two central characters meet only briefly before the tragic ending of the opera), is one of the most atmospheric operas ever... Read morePublished on October 1, 2009 by G.D.
As an opera fan who has flown to NYC 1 or 2x a year to go to the Met, I've been taking in the livestream/HD series, and when I saw the recent Live HD NY Met broadcast of this opera... Read morePublished on January 12, 2009 by H. Hauser
Fantastic - I bought this recording to acquaint myself with Thais before seeing the Met in HD live broadcast ([... Read morePublished on January 4, 2009 by C. Blank