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Poisoned Kiss


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Audio CD, November 25, 2003
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. The Poisoned Kiss: OverturePamela Helen Stephen 7:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Opening Chorus: Secret are the sounds ? (Dipsacus, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Scene: What's that? (Gallanthus)Pamela Helen Stephen 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Scene: Day is dawning (Angelica, Gallanthus)Pamela Helen Stephen 5:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Duet: It's really time ? (Gallanthus, Angelica)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Ensemble: Here we come ? (Hob, Lob, Gob, Dipsacus, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Duet and Chorus: I'm a sorcerer bold (Dipsacus, Angelica, Hob, Lob, Gob, Hobgoblins)Pamela Helen Stephen 1:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Duet: It's true I'm inclined ? (Amaryllus, Gallanthus)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Ensemble: Hush, lovely cobra (Tormentilla, Angelica, Amaryllus, Gallanthus)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Desist, lest you die! (Amaryllus, Tormentilla, Gallanthus, Angelica)Pamela Helen Stephen0:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Duet: I know we see ? (Amaryllus, Tormentilla)Pamela Helen Stephen0:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Blue larkspur in a garden (Amaryllus, Tormentilla)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Ensemble: Who's in my forest? (Dipsacus)Pamela Helen Stephen0:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: North wind, south wind (Dispacus, Hob, Gob, Lob, Tenors, Basses)Pamela Helen Stephen 1:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Angelica? (Tormentilla, Angelica)Pamela Helen Stephen0:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: O, come to our arms (Amaryllus, Gallanthus, Tormentilla, Angelica, Dipsacus, Hob, Gob, Lob, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Song: O, who would be ? (Tormentilla)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. The Poisoned Kiss: Act I: Finale: All is ready! (Dipsacus, Hob, Gob, Lob, Angelica, Tormentilla,Hobgoblins, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: IntroductionPamela Helen Stephen 1:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Here we come (Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Song and Chorus: By all the powers (Angelica, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Trio: Ho there! (Lob, Hob, Gob)Pamela Helen Stephen 1:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Duet: It does not appear ? (Angelica, Gallanthus)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Trio: If you want to escape (Third Medium, First Medium, Second Medium)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Tormentilla! Tormentilla! (Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Song and Duet: There was ? (Tormentilla, Angelica, Hob, Gob, Lob)Pamela Helen Stephen 5:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Ensemble: Twas here it bade ? (Amaryllus, Hob, Lob, Angelica, Gob, Gallanthus, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Serenade: Dear love, behold ? (Amaryllus)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Duet: Sleeping or waking (Tormentilla, Amaryllus)Pamela Helen Stephen 1:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: You must not kiss me (Tormentilla, Amaryllus, Hob, Gob, Lob, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 4:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Poisoned Kiss: Act II: Finale: Too dark for me ? (Tormentilla, Angelica, Gallanthus, Hob, Gob, Lob, Amaryllus, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: IntroductionPamela Helen Stephen 1:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Trio: Behold our mystic ? (First Medium, Second Medium, Third Medium)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Ensemble: Monstrous vision! (Empress, First Medium, Second Medium, Third Medium)Pamela Helen Stephen 1:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Ballad: When I was young ? (Empress)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Ensemble: You can leave us (Empress, First Medium, Second Medium, Third Medium)Pamela Helen Stephen0:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Duet: Is my love alive? (Tormentilla, Empress, Amaryllus)Pamela Helen Stephen0:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Love breaks all rules ? (Empress, Tormentilla, Amaryllus)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Invocation: Imps and Demons (Empress, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Ensemble: Come, O gentle powers (Empress, Tormentilla, Amaryllus, Dipsacus)Pamela Helen Stephen 5:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Duet: Can you, can you remember (Empress, Dipsacus)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Quartet: Love in a hut (Tormentilla, Empress, Amaryllus, Dipsacus)Pamela Helen Stephen 1:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Sextet: Horrid monster! (First Medium, Gob, Second Medium, Hob, Lob, Third Medium)Pamela Helen Stephen 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Duet: It's the proper thing to do (Gallanthus, Angelica)Pamela Helen Stephen 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. The Poisoned Kiss: Act III: Finale: Love has conquered! (Tormentilla, Amaryllus, Gallanthus, Angelica, Mediums, Hob, Gob, Lob, Dipsacus, Empress, Chorus)Pamela Helen Stephen 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 25, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B0000DIGLG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,605 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Opéra en 3 actes / Adrian Partington Singers - BBC National Orchestra of Wales - Richard Hickox, direction

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
And while the opera has its shortcomings, it is worth appreciation.
David Anthony Hollingsworth
In this recording, much of the spoken dialogue has been cut, although this can be read in the booklet.
Rodney Gavin Bullock
The best music and most witty and moving libretto is in the Third Act.
OperaOnline.us

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Rodney Gavin Bullock on December 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Vaughan Williams did not have the best of luck with his operas - or rather, his librettists. All five of his efforts contain music of the highest quality but only in his masterpiece, Riders to the Sea, did he achieve that of which he was plainly capable.
Tthe librettist of The Poisoned Kiss was the sister of Cecil Sharp, the famous English folk song collector. The plot was based on a short story and tells of two sweethearts who are separated. The girl, who became empress, was forced to marry someone more suited to her station but the boy, later to become a sorcerer, did not know this and planned revenge on his erstwhile sweetheart. He brings up his own daughter on poisons - prussic acid, bellandonna etc. so that any boy kissing her would die instantly. He planned that the empresses's son should be that boy. Naturally, everyone lives happily ever after.
This is is great fun and Vaughan Williams intended it to be something along the lines of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. The problem is that the libretto is greatly inferior to Gilbert's efforts in its wit and lightness of touch. The humour tends to be schoolboyish and a bit heavy handed - goblins disguising themselves as journalists, for example.
In my view, this matters for little. When I first listened to this "romantic extravaganza", as the composer called it, I was stunned by the quality of the music throughout. There is a short overture containing a number of the tunes. The composer archly suggests that the audience talk during this lest they know all the music before the opera begins. Thereafter, there is an almost endless procession of melody: sinister, funny, romantic, some of intense beauty. There are even patter songs à la G & S.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David Anthony Hollingsworth on October 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
According to Stephen Connock's well written booklet essay, Ralph Vaughan Williams began composing "The Poisoned Kiss" in 1927 while working on both "Sir John in Love" and "Job." Vaughan Williams was truly an emerging composer at the time, but "The Poisoned Kiss" had virtually no luck on stage (dated and contrived text particularly in extensive dialogues throughout were the main reasons for this). Evelyn Sharp, a well-known journalist and author of fairytales in her own right, was chosen as the librettist for this project (and she was known for her satire). Ms. Sharp based her libretto on Dr. Richard Garnett's "The Poison Maid" (adapted by Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Rappaccini's Daughter", the themes of which that was developed into "The Scarlet Letter"). However, Ms. Sharp faced, as did Vaughan Williams, the dilemma between balancing the work between comedy and drama. Because the composer deemed the music not amusing enough and the libretto long-winded and scrappy, revisions took place in 1936. Clearly Gilbert & Sullivan were the main influences here, but the dilemma remained as to the question of the aforementioned balance. After the much abridged performance took place on May 12th, 1936 in the Arts Theatre, Cambridge, the composer remained dissatisfied and took the opportunity to purchase rights to the text from Ms. Sharp's executors (she passed on in June of 1955) for further revisions, which commenced in 1956-1957. His second wife, Urusula Vaughan Williams, polished the dialogue and made the libretto closer to Richard Garnett's story.

Clearly Vaughan-Williams had much love and faith in his work. And while the opera has its shortcomings, it is worth appreciation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Todd Nolan on January 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD
At a memorable performance of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto by Sarah Chang a few years ago, a discordant, austere 20-minute piece opened the concert. When it ended, there was polite applause, clearly an act of obligation for music that did not go over well with the 2,500 or so people in attendance. When this short-lived clapping ended, the woman sitting to my left leaned over to me and whispered "Well, that's one tune I won't be humming on my way home!"

The tunes in this Vaughan William's opera, however, would have had that woman humming them for weeks. Along with Hugh the Drover, this premiere recording shows how good of an opera composer Vaughan Williams was. It really shouldn't be such a surprise when you consider how popular his 40 to 50 choral works are with amateur and professional choirs in Europe and North America. And his songs are luscious, as you can sample via Amazon (and check out the glowing reviews, especially of Silent Noon, a classic).

Highlights are the sweet duet between the two servants of the Prince Amaryllis & Princess Tormentilla, Angelica (mezzo Pamela Helen Stephen) and Gallanthus (baritone Roderick Williams), "It's really time"; Amaryllis' (tenor James Gilchrist) serenade "Dear love, behold for good or ill"; the final act duet between the Empress (soprano Anne Collins) and Tormentilla (soprano Janice Watson) entitled "Love breaks all rules" and the glorious duet "Blue Larkspur in a Garden" by Amaryllis & Tormentilla. Conductor Richard Hickox and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales match the singers in excellence. I wish American opera companies would take a shot at this when they decide to perform a modern opera once in a blue moon. What about Sir John in Love by VW instead of the 867th performance of Falstaff ?
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