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Gretry: Suites & Overtures

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 27, 2001
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Céphale et Procris, opera: suite
  2. Céphale et Procris, opera: suite
  3. Céphale et Procris, opera: suite
  4. Le Jugement de Midas, opera: Overture
  5. L'Épreuve Villageoise, opera: Overture
  6. Le Tableau Parlant, opera: Overture
  7. Le Huron, opera: Overture
  8. Lucille, opera: Suite
  9. Lucille, opera: Suite
  10. Lucille, opera: Suite
  11. Silvain, opera: Overture
  12. L'Amitié A l'épreuve, opera: Overture
  13. L'Ami de la maison, opera: Overture
  14. L'Ami de la maison, opera: Overture
  15. L'Ami de la maison, opera: Overture
  16. Zémire et Azor, opera in 4 acts: Suite
  17. Zémire et Azor, opera in 4 acts: Suite
  18. Zémire et Azor, opera in 4 acts: Suite
  19. Zémire et Azor, opera in 4 acts: Suite
  20. Zémire et Azor, opera in 4 acts: Suite
  21. Le Magnifique, opera: Overture
  22. Guillaume Tell, opera: Overture


Product Details

  • Orchestra: Orchestre de Bretagne
  • Conductor: Stefan Sanderling
  • Composer: Andre Ernest Modeste Gretry
  • Audio CD (February 27, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • ASIN: B0000542HM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,549 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By H. Deischer on November 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first became aware of Gretry's music on a recording by Sir Thomas Beecham. Occasionally I have played that recording over the years. Then comes this CD entirely with Gretry's music. I had to have it and it just made me love his music even more. Stefan Sanderling has done us a great service by recording several other French composers not well-known in the United States. Not only are these pieces well-played but they add a new twist as to what French music is all about. I recommend this CD highly and hope it will make you wish to purchase other earlier French music.
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Format: Audio CD
Grétry, Gossec, Méhul, Jadin - a lost generation of French/Belgian composers, all but obliterated between the generations active under the reign of Louis 15 (Rameau, Couperin) and Berlioz, the music of Mozart-Haydn and that of the Romantic generation. As the liner notes rightly put it, Grétry's life (1741-1813) spanned a period from the death of Haendel to the birth of Wagner It's hard to imagine that, among those, Grétry was the most famous, if not the inventor (Monsigny and Philidor were there first) but at least the greatest champion of "Opéra comique", in an era and a country that thirsted for it.

Why these composers, despite the huge fame they enjoyed in their days, were rapidly overshadowed is easy to understand listening to this disc of Overtures, excellently played by Orchestre de Bretagne under Stefan Sanderling: while writing music that was far more fluffy than Mozart's, and less witty and knowledgeable than Haydn's, Grétry's overtures remain entirely rooted in the "classical" and operatic style of the Ancien Regime, but with none of the orchestral inventivity and dazzling virtuosity of the early operas of Rossini, and no traces of evolution even towards even the anticipitation of romanticism that the more dramatic "Sturm und Drang" style represented. . Even when there are traces of drama, as in a short passage of the overture to "L'Amitié à l'épreuve" (track 12) (Friendship tested), it is short, and furthermore it sounds faked, a pretence of anger that doesn't fool the friend for a second.
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