vrijdag 20 november 2009

Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959) - Three Fragments from the Opera Juliette - Kožená, Davislim, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras

Opgenomen in het Rudolfinum in Praag, 5-6 december 2008 (Suite) en live op 11-12 december 2008 (Fragments) tijdens de Bohuslav Martinů-dagen

"Juliette is Martinu's operatic masterpiece and one of the most distinctive of all 20th-century operatic works. The plot is hallucinatory and wonderfully weird. Michel, a traveling salesman, arrives in a town where people have no memories. He encounters Juliette, whom he may have met before, or she may already know him, and in a series of stream-of-consciousness encounters they meet in a forest, where Michel shoots her, sort of, only she may not be dead, or even shot. In the third act, which takes place in the Bureau of Dreams, Michel arrives looking for Juliette, and the office clerk tells him that he has been dreaming, and if he does not give up his search he will never wake up, forever trapped in his dream. He refuses to relinquish Juliette, and the opera returns to the exact scene with which it opened.

I know it sounds strange, but what makes it work is Martinu's music, which matches the story moment for hallucinatory moment. He knew how important the opera was for his artistic development, and he tried desperately to get it performed as often as possible. The orchestral suite was arranged in 1969, after Martinu's death, but he assembled three fragments for concert performance that give an excellent idea of the complete work. These include, crucially, the entire forest scene in Act 2 and the Act 3 finale in the Bureau of Dreams. There's an old recording of the complete opera on Supraphon (in Czech), which is splendidly performed but dimly engineered.

This production more than makes up for that deficit, even though there's some audible variation between the Three Fragments (recorded live) and the Suite. Martinu's scoring is particularly luminous and really needs modern sound to make the necessary impact. Charles Mackerras delivers his usual outstanding results, the Czech Philharmonic plays amazingly, and the principal singers, especially Kozená and Davislim, sing beautifully. We still need a new recording of the complete opera, but until then this will do nicely. Essential for anyone who cares about 20th-century opera, or Martinu generally." [10/12/2009] --David Hurwitz, classicstoday.com

“I cannot recommend this scintillating disc highly enough.” --Guy Rickards, Gramophone

Magdalena Kožená - Juliette
Steve Davislim - Michel
Frédéric Goncalves / Nicolas Testé / Michèle Lagrange
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Mackerras, dirigent

Suite from the Opera Juliette (The Key to Dreams)
For Large Orchestra / H 253B / arr. Zbyněk Vostřák, 1969 [13:16]
1. I Poco andante [4:51]
2. II Vivo [3:58]
3. III Lento [4:22]

Three Fragments from the Opera Juliette (The Key to Dreams) / H 253A [38:15]
Libretto by the composer after the play by Georges Neveux
4. I La scène de la forêt / Scene in the Forest [20:49]
5. II La scène des souvenirs / Scene of memories [5:43]
6. III Finale du IIIe acte / Finale of Act III [11:39]

Boekje: alleen de Engelse tekst, maar met complete libretto (Frans, Engels, Duits, Tsjechisch)
Booklet: English text only, but with full libretto (French, English, German, Czech)

Download (180 MB, ape): Deel I --- Deel II (Rapidshare) of via

5 opmerkingen:

Anoniem zei

I downloaded the file but I cannot play it with my player. What player do you use to play this album?

Could you please leave a note here to let me know or send me an email to h.reza74@yahoo.com

Kind Regards,

Edmond zei

Hi Reza,
It is a compressed .ape file that needs to be decompressed by Monkey's Audio (http://www.monkeysaudio.com/), for example. On a Mac, try Max (http://sbooth.org/Max/). Both these should give you a decompressed & lossless file.
Hope this helps,

Anoniem zei

the CUE file has a bug! thanks

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