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Nicolae Bretan: Golem and Arald

Nicolae Bretan , Cristian Mandeal , Alexandru Agache Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Price: $17.10 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 18 Songs, 2006 $8.99  
Audio CD, 1995 $17.10  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Golem: Introduction - Orchestra 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Golem: Leave Me Alone, Golem, Leave Me! - Golem 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Golem: I Looked Deep Into Her Eyes... - Golem 6:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Golem: I Cannot Change You Into A Man. - Löw 5:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Golem: I Formed You Of Clay... - Löw 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Golem: Under The Earth, You Do Not Feel The Cold. - Golem 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Golem: Did You Call Me? - Baruch 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Golem: No! I Won't Tear It Out! - Golem 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Golem: Why Don't You Give Me That Talisman? - Golem 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Golem: Peace To You, Dream Of The Human Mind. - Chorus 5:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Arald: Prologue / Arald On His Charger Sweeps... - The Poet 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Arald: To You, O Timeless Seer, Across The World I Ride... - Arald 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Arald: You Were Still But A Child. - The Seer 6:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Arald: My People Ceased Their March... - Arald 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Arald: Out Of The Heart Of Earth Let Man The Dead Awake... - The Seer 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Arald: Come, Arald, Your Sweet Brow Against My Bosom Lean... Maria 4:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Arald: Interlude - Orchestra 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Arald: Lost Of All Eternity Within The Tomb's Constraint... - The Seer 2:30$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Nicolae Bretan: Golem and Arald + Nicolae Bretan: Luceafarul (The Evening Star) + Horia
Price for all three: $56.27

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Product Details

  • Performer: Alexandru Agache
  • Conductor: Cristian Mandeal
  • Composer: Nicolae Bretan
  • Audio CD (September 5, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nimbus Records
  • ASIN: B0000037FS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,592 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two short beautiful, somber lyric operas. May 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
"Golem" is a one-act opera about the legendary clay man created by the Rabbi of Prague. The poignant libretto is by the composer. The music is beautiful and lyric, but has no memorable tunes. Stylistically, it is a bit like Rimsky-Korsakoff's operatic writing. "Arald" is not really an opera but a scenic cantata. It tells of the despair of the khan of the Avars over the loss of his wife. The gloom of both text and music put me off at first. On second hearing, I loved it! It is more tuneful than "Das Lied von der Erde" and has none of the dissonance of Bartok's "Duke Bluebeard's Castle", but the mood is similar.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More beautiful music than we'd any right to expect. January 25, 2001
Format:Audio CD
The Transylvanian composer Bretan had one of the grimmer lives of any notable composer - his wife's family were murdered in Auschwitz; his refusal in post-war Romania to become a Communist led to his silencing - but you wouldn't know it from either of these operas.
They are serious and solemn enough. 'Golem' takes the old story of a rampaging Frankenstein-type monster and turns it into a melancholy dialogue about life, science, creation, family. 'Arald', with its hero supplicating the Seer of the Underworld to resuscitate his dead love, forswears doomy Gothic in favour of more metaphysical musings.
From a dramatic point of view, both works are static. Musically, however, they are gloriously reminiscent of mid-period Verdi - bountifully melodic, rapturously sad - with an Eastern European flavour. The fact that an opera composer in the mid-20th century dared even write a TUNE is reason enough to rejoice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating double bill November 22, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Following on from my discovery of Bretan's "Evening star" ("Luceafarul" - see my review), I have been listening to a disc of some his songs and this opera double bill CD - both featuring the mellifluous baritone Alexandru Agache, more widely celebrated for his Verdi roles. The idiom here in "Golem" is very different from the other-worldly simplicity of "Luceafarul"; this is far more restless and melodramatic but, like that earlier opera, it is through-composed. It often uses elements of Klezmer music, with alternately wailing and joyful melodies. The overture, for example, presents a soulful, soaring theme for the violins (representing the clay-creature Golem's yearning for humanity) alternating with jollier trumpet and flute passages. Of course, the allusions to Klezmer are wholly appropriate for a legend centring on Rabbi Löw and the Golem - the Jewish predecessor to an idea more familiar to many as the "Frankenstein" story.

The standard of performance here is high: the orchestra is noticeably superior to that Nimbus recorded for "Luceafarul", the singers - especially Agache, of course - are of international standard and the sound quality is exemplary. This is a taut, compact, terrifying tale and would work very well in the theatre. As with Shelley's Creature, Bretan's music and Agache's interpretation of it makes Golem a figure arousing both fear and compassion. There is little action in either piece, but the music is full of variety and drama, and I disagree with the previous reviewer who claims that there are no memorable tunes; Anna's aria, an invocation to life and the sun, turns into a trio to end the work and suggests a melody that Mascagni or Leoncavallo might have written for one of their heroines.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully understated drama June 10, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Despite a lack of big arias, Golem is a good opera. The singers in this production are very effective in conveying the inner tensions of their characters. Although there is little physical movement, the drama of Rabbi Judah Loeb confronting the monster he has created is intense.

The scenic cantata, Arald, is Bretan's masterpiece. It is a lyrical evocation of memory, despair, and resignation. Arald puts the listener through all of the emotional upheaval of Das Lied von der Erde in half of the time. This performance of Arald is as affecting as the best performances of Das Lied von der Erde that I have heard.
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