Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Juan Diego Flórez|
Orphee Et Eurydice
Superstar tenor Juan Diego Flórez records his first major opera role outside of the bel canto repertoire with this recording of Gluck's landmark opera. Flórez stars as the musician and poet Orpheus in Gluck's mythical oper... more »
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Superstar tenor Juan Diego Flórez records his first major opera role outside of the bel canto repertoire with this recording of Gluck's landmark opera. Flórez stars as the musician and poet Orpheus in Gluck's mythical opera of love and loss, Orphée et Eurydice (Orpheus and Eurydice) Following acclaimed performances at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Decca is proud to record and release the complete live performance. The opera is heard in the 1774 Paris version, sung in French. Gluck originally wrote the opera in Italian featuring a castrato, but for the Paris premiere he had the opera translated, re-wrote the lead for a high tenor and expanded the ballet music. The opera tells of the poet and musician Orpheus who travels to the underworld in search of his wife Eurydice, on the understanding that he doesn't look at her until they are back on earth. When she misinterprets his distance, he is compelled to turn and face her, only to see her die a second time. Moved by the intensity of Orpheus' devotion, L'Amour returns Eurydice to life once more as all ends happily. Gluck's opera has recently enjoyed more popularity and has even (in the Italian version) been featured as a Live in HD Metropolitan Opera Broadcast. With this performance featuring the talent of Juan Diego Flórez, Gluck's opera is destined to gain even more popularity.
'ORPHEE' IN A SPECTACULAR LIVE PERFORMANCE
L. Mitnick | Chicago, Illinois United States | 05/08/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Juan Diego Florez has done some spectacular singing on CD and DVD, but to my ears, nothing quite as lyrically beautiful as that which is heard here. Most amazingly, this is a live performance from Madrid, and one can feel the excitement that only a live performance can provide. Of course this opera has usually been performed in Italian with a mezzo soprano in the role of Orfeo (mezzos of the calibre of Marilyn Horne, Shirley Verrett, Grace Bumbry, Rise Stevens and Kathleen Ferrier all performed it), but what we have here is Gluck's opera in the French version (which was in the past undertaken by such great tenors as Nicolai Gedda and Leopold Simioneau, both of whom recorded it), which to me is more effective ----- but it is THIS performance of the role of Orphee, as sung by Florez, that has finally made me realize the sublime beauty of this opera. Florez is amazing here. Yes, he inserts a spectacular extra aria into the end of Act I (which was also included by Marilyn Horne on her recording) which is full of coloratura fireworks cadenzas, and his vocal aim is deadly accurate, as one would expect from a tenor di grazia as masterful as Florez. However, where he is truly moving and beautiful is in the more lyrical portions of the opera. "J'ai perdu mon Euridice" is as heartfelt and as anguished as Maria Callas' on her 1961 French Opera recital, and even earlier, his pleas and cries to the gods are so beautifully sung that it is easier experienced than described. Florez' voice is lyrical, incredibly rich, and truly beautiful. I find his performance here to be the definitive presentation of the role. The female members of the cast are lovely, youthful, and etherial sounding, and they certainly sound young. Lopez-Cobos keeps the opera moving at a good pace, and the chorus is spectacular. But this is Florez' showcase, and what a showcase it is. I believe that this recording is going to bring this opera back into currency. I also consider this to be the greatest recording of Gluck's opera. Maybe I'm being a little over enthusiastic here, but I can't help it. I absolutely love this recording."
Ralph Moore | Bishop's Stortford, UK | 06/09/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I am a great fan of Florez - in the correct repertoire. Here, the tessitura of the transposed tenor role lies uncomfortably for his voice - right where it sounds thinnest and has least body and ping; consequently the effect on the listener is really wearisome and uningratiating. Add to this the fact that the orchestra is scrawny and ill-tuned, the conducting by turns limp and perfunctory, the two female voices squally, wobbly and undistinguished, the choral singing ragged and the recorded sound distant and disembodied, and you have in sum a real dud in this live recording.
Previous Amazon.com reviewers are apparently enraptured; goodness knows why. For a more accurate and truthful assessment of this issue, look at both the official Production Description BBC review and the subsequent review by Prof R Ellis on the Amazon UK website.
Florez could sing "Three Blind Mice" and get rave reviews these days and I have thrilled to his bel canto singing both live and on disc - but this sorry effort does his reputation no favours. I suspect that the poor sound has a fair bit to do with my lack of enthusiasm, but he never sounds in the groove here and should drop it from his repertoire. There hasn't been a really recommendable recording of the 1774 Paris version since the venerable mono 1956 set with Simoneau conducted by Rosbaud. If you want Gluck in French and like the Berlioz version, go to Runnicles with Jennifer Larmore in beautiful but placid voice (see my review). For a judicious combination of the best of Gluck's various Italian editions and revisions, turn either to Fasano or Maag (also with Spanish forces but far superior - again, see my review)."