Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Emmanuel Chabrier, Mark Padmore, Simon Keenlyside|
Chabrier - Briséis / Padmore, Rodgers, Harries, Keenlyside, George, Glasgow BBC Scottish SO
A magnificent revival of the forgotten opera
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an unusual role for the baroque master Mark Padmore, who seldom ventures beyond music written before 1800. Yet I was most impressed. He doesn't even leave his baroque high tenor mold, but he still fits in with Chabrier's music. His silky voice beautifully conveys both the disarming charm of Hylas's longing for his fiancee Briseis, and the psychological tension in the leitmotifs presaging the unhappy choice Briseis will have to make (the libretto follow's Goethe's Corinthian Bride). The trend for me has been set. There aren't any comparisons out there because this unfinished opera languished in obscurity until now. Yet the level of this performance (which is, by the way, live, but you won't have a single complaint about the quality of sound) can hardly be bettered in the future. Chabrier's music sounds amazingly modern. The mention of his Wagnerian aspirations made me smile because Chabrier's music, although rich in letimotifs and complex in harmonies, has nothing of Wagner's crushing monumentality. Instead, the music of Briseis sounds more like it could have come from a "golden age" Hollywood musical, leaving the strict operatic convention behind in favor of the 20th-century aesthetics. The result is the music's broader appeal - in fact, I defy anyone not to like this opera."
Too bad it wasn't finished
NotATameLion | Michigan | 06/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What an enchanting recording. Briseis, an unfinished opera by Emmanuel Chabrier is here given a dream performance by all involved. This disc made me an admirer of the Chorus of Scottish Opera, Joan Rodgers and the Hyperion record label.Mrs. Rodgers (Briseis) sings ravishingly from beginning to end on his disc. You can feel true trepidation and love in her voice. Her lover (Hylas), sung by Mark Padmore also gives a worthy performance. The high point of this recording is the excellent singing of the Chorus of Scottish Opera. Setting a pointed backdrop to the action of the tale, this is singing like I have rarely heard elsewhere. Full of beauty and an almost otherworldly presence.The recording qualities are, as with all Hyperion releases, first rate. It is a wonderfully spacious sound without being too close. Hyperion is always dependable when it comes to finding gems others have overlooked. This is one of those gems. Buy it."
Terrific Story for Terrific Music
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 03/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My greatest surprise in listening to this piece and reading the back story was to discover the venue and the situation. On first blush, I naively thought Briseis was a character in The Iliad. Turns out, this is a story of Christian faith versus the old pagan religion(s) of Corinth, Greece, at the time of the Apostles. Even more surprising is that the French libretto is based on a German play by no less than Goethe, entitled Die Braut von Korinth. I am more in search of unusual musical pieces than I am a true opera fan, and I am pleased with this discovery. It's a bit pricy for a fragment, but quite enjoyable if you can get an inexpensive copy."