Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber, Thomas Fulton, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo|
Auber - La Muette de Portici
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(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is French Grand Opera at its best. This is considered by music historians as "ONE OF THE CHIEF CORNERSTONES OF FRENCH OPERA", Tell, Robert le Diable, and La Juive being the other corner stones. As a work, it is simply thrilling and very exciting musically. Auber knew how to keep his audience on the edge of their seats. The opera became super famous in its Italian translation (titled after the lead male character) which puts the entire emphasis on the wrong character. Actually, even this wonderful recording does that. Anderson, though singing a very important female role in the opera is not singing the LEAD FEMALE ROLE. The opera is entitled, La Muette de Portici. The lead female role was danced by a ballerina. This role is pivital to the entire plot, and we get nothing from her (the sad thing about recordings). The French style is perfectly understood, and it is wonderful to finally hear French opera, not just sung in French, but sung in beautifully sung understandable French, and with proper respect for the style completely unfettered by "Italian performing tradition." The final scene of the opera is exciting as can be, but one wonders what it would have been like to watch. In this scene our lead female role "La Muette", must jump out of a balcony in Naples into the mouth of Vesuvius while it is erupting. Considering the distance Vesuvius is from Naples, that is a feat that no olympic athlete of any kind could match. Historically, when this opera was performed in Belgium, it caused such a riot that a war for their independence broke out. This recording is simply fabulous, and well worth the money. The story may be a bit weird, but it is certainly a "good people conquer evil people" story that is wonderful to experience. The music is very exciting, and there is hardly a dull moment of a moment where one "feels time passing." Buy it and enjoy."
The "father" of French grand opera
B. Cathey | Wendell, NC United States | 06/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Daniel Francois Auber's bust is prominently displayed at the Opera de Paris, and he is generally credited as the "father" of French Grand Opera. La Muette de Portici (1828) initiated a whole series of "reforms" and changes in opera that led to Meyerbeer, Gounod, Thomas, Bizet, Saint-Saens, and others, not to mention the influence it had on Wagner and others.This recording, which dates from the late '80s, is of capital importance. Despite the fact that Alfredo Kraus was past his prime, vocally, he still possessed the finest French style and his "barcarolle" and "Ferme tes yeux" are models of clarity and elegance. Yes, he can't get the same "ping" he once summed up in such performances as the famous Carnegie Hall LUCREZIA BORGIA (with Montserrat Caballe, in 1965), and sometimes he must slide up to a note, but he's still a fine, idiomatic Masaniello. June Anderson if equally fine, as are all the other cast members. Auber's music shimmers and sparkles, and the melodic invention---of which there is much in LA MUETTE--stays with you days after you've listened. With Auber's comic masterpiece, FRA DIAVOLO [I think the Italian version is preferrable, q.v.], these works are fundamental to our understanding of opera and its history---and they are also very enjoyable. Recommended."
Birth of french grand opera ...
Michel | Montreal, Quebec | 05/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With the creation of 'La muette de Portici' in 1828 Auber un-
kowningly gave birth to what would become known as the 'French
Grand Opera' - a large-scale and elaborate spectacle with lots
of choruses and a ballet - often set against an historical e-
vent like here - the revolt of the napolitans against spanish
occupation in 1647. It is a lively yet elegant opera - as the
hero Masaniello we have veteran tenor Alfredo Kraus whom at 59
remains amazingly fresh-voiced and a model of grace and elegan-
ce. John Aler and June Anderson are also excellent - their mas-
tery of florid singing and idiomatic french style examplary.
The rest of the cast is in very capable hands. Well recorded
and conducted - at this bargain price well worth investigating
- it comes with a synopsis in both french and english but no