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Enesco: Oedipe Box set

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, September 4, 2001
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Prld - PO De Monte-Carlo/Lawrence Foster
  2. Act I: Roi-Laios, En La Maison - Isabelle Vernet/Cornelius Hauptmann
  3. Act I: Thebes, Chante, Des Sept Portes - Isabelle Vernet/Cornelius Hauptmann/Nicolai Gedda/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper
  4. Act I: Enfant Divin, Royal Enfant - Nicolai Gedda/Isabelle Vernet
  5. Act I: Dance Of The Shepherds - Nicolai Gedda/Isabelle Vernet
  6. Act I: J'apporte De Delos La Flamme D'Appolon - Les Vierges Thebaines/Cornelius Hauptmann
  7. Act I: Enfant, Mon Enfant, Comment T'appeler - Brigitte Fassbaender/John Aler/Gabriel Bacquier/Cornelius Hauptmann/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper
  8. Act II: Adonis, Couche Sur La Pourpre Et L'or - Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper/Jose Van Dam
  9. Act II: Oedipe, O Fils De Polybos - Laurence Albert/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper/Jose Van Dam
  10. Act II: Oh! Goutez Sans Moi - Jose Van Dam/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper
  11. Act II: Pourquoi Trembler, Mon Fils? - Jocelyne Taillon/Jose Van Dam
  12. Act II: Et Je Me Couvrirai - Jose Van Dam
  13. Act II: Est-ce Deja Le Roi? - Nicolai Gedda
  14. Act II: Ou Suis-Je?... Le Corbeau Crie... - Jose Van Dam
  15. Act II: Mais Si C'etait Un Piege Du Dieu - Jose Van Dam/John Aler/Nicolai Gedda
  16. Act II: Interlude - PO De Monte-Carlo/Lawrence Foster
  17. Act II: De L'aurore A L'aurore - Jean-Philippe Courtis
  18. Act II: Il Est Un Breuvage - Marjana Lipovsek/Jose Van Dam
  19. Act II: Je T'attendais - Jean-Philippe Courtis/Jose Van Dam/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper
  20. Act II: Ho! Ho! Reveillez-vous! - Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper/Isabelle Vernet
  21. Act II: Evohe! Evohe! - Les Enfants

Disc: 2

  1. Act III: Oh! Oh! Helas! Helas! - Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper
  2. Act III: De L'antique Kadmos - Jose Van Dam/Cornelius Hauptmann/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper/Marcel Vanaud
  3. Act III: Creon! Creon! Voici Creon - Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper/Jose Van Dam/Marcel Vanaud
  4. Act III: Divin Tiresias, Tres Cher - Jose Van Dam/Gabriel Bacquier/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper/Marcel Vanaud
  5. Act III: Qu' Entends-je, Oedipe - Brigitte Fassbaender/Jose Van Dam/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper/Nicolai Gedda/Laurence Albert
  6. Act III: Reconnais-tu Cet Homme? - Jose Van Dam/Nicolai Gedda/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper/Laurence Albert/Isabelle Vernet
  7. Act III: Voyez, Thebains, Voyez - Jose Van Dam/Chef De Chant/Elisabeth Cooper
  8. Act III: Pere! Pere - Barbara Hendricks/Jose Van Dam
  9. Act III: Il Faut Partir, Oedipe - Marcel Vanaud/Jose Van Dam/Orfeon Donostiarra//Jose-Antonio Sainz
  10. Act III: Je Marcherai Dans Les Tenebres - Jose Van Dam/Barbara Hendricks/Orfeon Donostiarra/Jose-Antonio Sainz
  11. Act IV: Bienveillantes! Bienfaisantes! - Orfeon Donostiarra/Jose-Antonio Sainz
  12. Act IV: Deesses Qui Veillez? - Gino Quilico/Orfeon Donostiarra/Jose-Antonio Sainz
  13. Act IV: Lumiere De Mes Yeux - Jose Van Dam/Barbara Hendricks
  14. Act IV: Nous Soomes Arrives... - Jose Van Dam
  15. Act IV: Pere! Pere! Creon! je Vois Creaon! - Barbara Hendricks/Marcel Vanaud/Jose Van Dam/Isabelle Vernet/Orfeon Donostiarra/Jose-Antonio Sainz
  16. Act IV: Pouvais-je Penser - Marcel Vanaud/Jose Van Dam
  17. Act IV: Oedipe! - Orfeon Donostiarra/Jose-Antonio/Jose Van Dam
  18. Act IV: Adieu, Douce Antigone - Jose Van Dam/Orfeon Donostiarra/Jose-Antonio Sainz

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 4, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: EMI Digital
  • ASIN: B000005GJC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,958 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I never write reviews. Mostly because of my conviction that experiencing music is an intimate and solitary enterprise. And a highly subjective one.
After Oedipe though, this philosophy MUST be suspended. It is, indeed, the most miraculous piece of work I've ever listened. It's been only four or five months since I listened to it for the first time. Ever since, I keep wondering what exactly are the obscure mechanisms that make it ignored by more or less everybody. I think NOTHING can justify this situation. A rather clumsy libretto apart, it is a flawless and fascinating masterpiece, and not even an obscure one. It would probably take a deaf person or a real snob to ignore its blatant musical beauty and originality.
Such situation made me wonder what else I've been ignoring while restricting my interests to the rather established repertoire.
I must ignore the ignominious review beneath, which praises van Dam, disgracing the music.
The performance is wonderful, flawless, orchestra and singers. Van Dam gives here one of his best performances (if not really the greatest). Fassbaender and Lipovsek are in amazingly good vocal shape, rendering hipnotizing effects.
In the meantime, I also acquired the 1964 recording (in Romanian, with Ohanesian), which made me praise the EMI effort even further. Foster version is much more intense and idiomatic (which is weird, i agree).
Try it yourself, that's the only way you'll understand my fascination for this incredible masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Enescu's masterpiece at which, according to his student the late great Yehudi Menuhin, he worked constantly for something like twenty years. While this opera is not frequently performed here in the U.S. it is worth looking for it on CD, as it is recognized by many to be a supreme musical creation. I know of only one other recording of this opera aside from this one-- it was recorded in the 1960s, it is performed by the Enescu Philarmonica and the Romanian National Opera, and while the musicians seem extremely capable, the sound lets them down. Both these recordings are hard to find but the one conducted by Foster is impeccable both in its music and its sound. I am an avid listener of classical music and have heard no deeper, more inspiring music than Enescu's Oedipe. I also highly recommend his Symphonies No.2 and No.3 and his Orchestral Suite No.1.
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Format: Audio CD
I remember a few years ago when the EMI recording with a dazzling cast consisting of Jose van Dam, Gabriel Bacquier, Nicolai Gedda, Gino Quilico, John Aler, Brigitte Fassbaender, Marjana Liposvek & Barbara Hendricks - reading some rather unfavorable reviews of it. I purchased it anyway, and was knocked into tomorrow. What an incredible score this

is! Such a powerful musical drama.

The opening scene for the various choruses, the women of Thebes, the High Priest, the Theban warriors, and the shepherds, is wonderful. Alternating between exotic sounding harps & reeds, to an almost Debussyian/Ravel type of orchestral tonal pallete, and Enesco's handling of text is simply gorgeous, giving all of the characters beautiful (if brief) melodies on which to sing them. Much of the chorus work, like much of the entire opera itself is quiet, ethereal in nature with sudden bursts of enormous sound which just surround you and are all the more effective.

Enesco's musical language throughout Oedipe is wildly chromatic, and modal. Parts of the opera sound ancient and even mysteriously "Greek" in nature, while others recall

Schoenberg's Gurrelieder.

Dramatically, I love this work as well, as Enesco's librettist Edmond Fleg, incorporates more of the legend of Oedipus into this story than we usually get, as well as altering much of it. (For instance, the entire final scene)

The first act is serves as prologue, dealing, as it does, with the celebration of the birth of Oedipe, and ending with the horrible prediction of Tirisea, about the future king's fate.

Also, the final Act, serves as epilogue, since Jocasta hangs herself and Oedipe blinds himself in Act III.
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Format: Audio CD
How can it be that this great work is essentially unknown, even in the world of opera itself?

An unqualified masterpiece that manages to incorporate the essence of the great George Enescu---not only his incredible musical craft and imagination---but the profoundly mystical language of the Rumanian culture, with its unique mix of mid-eastern, Roman and Byzantine influences; and, oh yes, the opera is very FRENCH too, since Enescu spent
much of his career in Paris studying (with Faure), performing and teaching. Incidentally, he was also a great conductor, being a candidate for the NY Phil after Toscanini left AND one of the 20th-century's greatest violin virtuosos.

So why isn't Oedipe honored as one of the 20th-century's greatetst operas? So many reasons, I suppose....all of them unjust, invalid, and regrettable. If the work has ANY chance of ever receiving the recognition it deserves, it will be thanks to this wonderful All-Star recording by Lawrence Foster---thank the Lord for his belief in Oedipe (not to mention his brilliant talent for bringing it to life on the podium!)

Too many incredible things to mention---but here's a few:

The opera is meticulously crafted using about 20 main motifs--many of which are heard in the dark, nightmarish Prelude. The overall PACING and structure of the score is FABULOUS---this is probably the area in which most Opera composers FAIL---yet Enescu's one and only stage work is practically flawless in this respect.

Act 1 contains much music evocative of Grecian antiquity---a culture closely related to that of Rumania. So much of this colorful music seems to "glow" with a feeling of serenity and warmth that pervades the score.
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