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Massenet: Don Quichotte Box set

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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

Disc: 1

  1. Act I - Une Place Publique: Prld Et Danse: Alza! Alza! Alza! - Isabelle Vervet/Marie-Ange Todorovitch/Christian Papis/Nicolas Rivenq
  2. Act I - Une Place Publique: Alza... Quand La Femme A Vingt Ans - Teresa Berganza/Isabelle Vervet/Marie-Ange Todorovitch/Christian Papis/Nicolas Rivenq
  3. Act I - Une Place Publique: Dulcinee Est Certes Jolie - Christian Papis/Nicolas Rivenq
  4. Act I - Une Place Publique: Allegresse! Allegresse! - Jose Van Dam/Alain Fondary
  5. Act I - Une Place Publique: O Dulcinee!... Ah!!! Vous Allez Ameuter Alcade - Jose Van Dam/Alain Fondary
  6. Act I - Une Place Publique: Ser: Quand Apparaissent Les Etoiles - Jose Van Dam/Nicolas Rivenq/Teresa Berganza
  7. Act I - Une Place Publique: Ah ! Ah ! C'est Vous Qui Lanciez - Teresa Berganza/Jose Van Dam/Nicolas Rivenq
  8. Act I - Une Place Publique: Vous Etes, Mon Seigneur - Teresa Berganza/Isabelle Vernet/Marie-Ange Todorovitch/Christian Papis/Nicolas Rivenq
  9. Act I - Une Place Publique: Elle M'Aime Et Wa Me Revenir - Jose Van Dam/Teresa Berganza
  10. Act II - Les Moulins: Chanson: C'est Vers Ton Amour - Teresa Berganza/Alain Fondary
  11. Act II - Les Moulins: Comment Peut-On Penser Du Bien - Alain Fondary
  12. Act II - Les Moulins: Regarde !... Quoi? Quoi? - Teresa Berganza/Alain Fondary
  13. Act II - Les Moulins: Entracte - Choeurs Et Orchestre Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasso
  14. Act III - Dans La Sierra: C'est Ici Le Chemin Que Prennent Les Bandits - Teresa Berganza/Alain Fondary
  15. Act III - Dans La Sierra: Quand Aparaisent Les Etoiles - Teresa Berganza/Alain Fondary
  16. Act III - Dans La Sierra: Ah! Voir Un Corps Long Comme Un Jour Sans Pain - Gerald Thomas/Thierry Vincent/Jean-Luc Antoine/Gerard Thomas/Gerard Blatt/Alain Carcy...
  17. Act III - Dans La Sierra: Je Suis Le Chevalier Errant - Jose Van Dam/Gerald Thomas/Thierry Vincent/Jean-Luc Antoine/Gerard Thomas/Gerard Blatt

Disc: 2

  1. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: Alors, Traitresse, Je N'ai Plus Rien A Experer - Nicolas Rivenq/Isabelle Vernet/Marie-Ange Todorovitch/Christian Papis/Teresa Berganza
  2. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: Lorsque Le Temps D'amour A Fui - Teresa Berganza
  3. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: Par Forture! Par Fortune! - Christian Papis/Teresa Berganza/Nicolas Rivenq/Isabelle Vernet/Marie-Ange Todorovitch
  4. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: Alza! Alza! Ne Pensons Qu'au Plaisir D'Aimer - Teresa Berganza
  5. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: L'aube Blentot Blanchira L'horizon! - Isabelle Vernet/Marie-Ange Todorovitch
  6. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: Annonce Le Grand Don Quichotte - Alain Fondary/Jose Van Dam
  7. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: L'Aube Bientot Blanchira L'Horizon! - Jose Van Dam/Teresa Berganza/Alain Fondary/Isabelle Vernet/Marie-Ange Todorovitch/Christian Papis...
  8. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: Oui, Je Souffre Votre Tristesse - Teresa Berganza/Jose Van Dam
  9. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: Enfin, Te Revoila! - Christian Papis/Nicolas Rivenq/Teresa Berganza/Alain Fondary
  10. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: Riez, Allez, Riez Du Pauvre Ideologue - Alain Fondary
  11. Act IV - Le Patio De La Belle Dulcinee: Entracte - Choeurs Et Orchestre Du Capitole De Toulouse/Michel Plasson
  12. Act V - La Mort De Don Quichotte: O Mon Maitre, O Mon Grand! - Alain Fondary/Jose Van Dam/Teresa Berganza


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 Classics
  • ASIN: B000009K2F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,726 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brett Farrell VINE VOICE on June 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I am a big fan of Richard Bonynge and adore 99% of the things he does. So as an already large Massenet fan I was very excited to buy the Decca recording of his preformance of Don Quichotte. It was fantastic! For years I couldn't imagine needing another one since I already had one that I enjoyed listening to. Well an opportunity arose to buy this version for only $20 and I adimre all the performers and Michel Plasson so I went for it. Little did I know what a difference there could be. The Plasson Quichotte is much better than the Bonynge one. From little details in the chorus to the much more rousing preformance by berganza and van Dam and finally to the better sound quallity (which I did not think could get better). Perhaps some the fine little details I mentioned are in the Bonynge recording but I'm only just hearing them now.
Now to those of you who are new to this opera altogether, you must buy A copy of Don Quichotte. It is one of Massenet's finest operas but one from his later period. It's more along the lines of 'Cherubin' and 'Thais' in style than 'Manon' or 'Werther'. It is regardless of it's style, a Massenet opera and thus of course very enjoyable.
I must recommend this Don Quichotte as the best version. As I said earlier, the Bonynge version made me fall in love with the opera but the Plasson version has made me almost worshipful.
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Format: Audio CD
Michel Plasson conducts a sumptuous account of Massenet's charming Cervantes-based opera, with Jose van Dam singing gloriously as the Don, producing consistently firm and velvety tone. Alain Fondary as Sancho Panza is equally strong and firm vocally, shadowing and matching his master instead of contrasting, never indulging in exaggeratedly comic effects. Teresa Berganza as Dulcinee adds to the sensuousness of the performance, with the Toulouse acoustic bringing out the richness and beauty of Massenet's orchestral writing. No one will be disappointed, but the deleted 1977 Decca set still has clear advantages.
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Format: Audio CD
Massenet was no head-in-the clouds idealist and some of his twenty-plus operas smack a little of calculated, formulaic opportunism; on the other hand his frequent depiction of interesting women and his gift for melodic exotica resulted in some first rate works which still hold their place in the repertoire.

"Don Quichotte" is not a front-rank opera, yet the role its eponymous hero is attractive enough to have caught the attention of basses as celebrated as Chaliapin (its creator), Christoff, Ghiaurov, Raimondi, Ramey and here, José van Dam. It is probably best to jettison any expectations that the opera will echo the profundity of the Cervantes original, based as it is upon a French stage adaptation apparently of no great distinction but blessed with a neat, workable libretto that pays lip-service to our vague conception of "The Knight of the Doleful Countenance". It relies to a large degree upon a degree of sentimentality and considerable elements of pastiche, both of which are out of favour in an artistic climate which favours authenticity and gritty realism.

Yet Massenet was, like Puccini, a skilled craftsman with a gift for melody and a professional's eye for the right mix for a successful stage work and before the famous hatchet job by "Tribune" critic Lawrence Gilman in 1926 after the opera's American premiere at the Met, it enjoyed considerable success and hold up quite well today of you give it a chance.

And it is given every chance by an excellent, mostly francophone cast, an experienced conductor and his idiomatic Toulouse company. Teresa Berganza is evidently rather mature of voice at this stage of her career but sings with spirit and character.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this 'hard to get' recording of Don Quichotte based on the recommendation of Dr. Nick Reveles (Opera Talk) who was discussing the upcoming performance by the San Diego Opera. In fact the recording is excellent in quality from both a production and performance standpoint. The recording was sent direct from the supplier bookstore within a week to 10 days, earlier than had been estimated.
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Format: Audio CD
Before you waste your money on what is arguably the best recording of this abysmally terrible opera, please read this Lawrence Gilman review of the MET premiere.

There have been brave men in France; but of them all, surely the bravest was the late Jules Emile Frederic Massenet. This intrepid composer, gifted with the spiritual distinction of a butler, the compassionate understanding of a telephone girl, and the expressive capacity of an amorous tomtit, had the courage to choose as a subject for music the greatest of all tragi-comedies, the most exquisitely piteous figure in the imaginative literature of the world. Monsieur Massenet, composer of "Manon" and the "Meditation Réligieuse," selected as the theme for an opera the 'Don Quixote of Cervantes, and with it he did his worst. The result of this incredible adventure was displayed to us on Saturday afternoon.

There have been many attempts at a tonal setting of the incomparable story, from Sajon's "Don Chisciotto della Mancia," produced at Venice in 1680, to De Falla's "El Retablo de Meese Pedro," heard in New York this season. Massenet's derivation (composed in 1909, performed for the first time at Monte Carlo, February 24, 1910), is surely the most futile. It is based upon a comedy made out of Cervantes's novel by the French shoemaker-poet, Jacques le Lorraine, and turned into a libretto by Massenet's industrious co-worker, Henri Cain.

Massenet has told us that what "charmed" him and moved him to write "Don Quichotte" was the "stroke of genius" displayed by Le Lorrain in his play "when he substituted for the coarse wench at the inn Cervantes' Dulcinea, the original and picturesque La Belle Dulcinée"-a characteristic comment!
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