Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gian Carlo Menotti, Richard Hickox, Connor Burrowes|
Menotti - Martin's Lie (premiere recording) · Five Songs · Canti della lontananza / C. Burrowes · P.H. Stephen · Leggate · Opie · M. Best · Hickox - Howarth · Martineau
Genres: Pop, Classical
This premiere recording of Martin's Lie (1964) is an engaging church opera for boy soprano and various adults, and a pleasant diversion from Menotti's more popular Amahl. The artful orchestrations enhance the musical drama... more »
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This premiere recording of Martin's Lie (1964) is an engaging church opera for boy soprano and various adults, and a pleasant diversion from Menotti's more popular Amahl. The artful orchestrations enhance the musical drama, and the singing is strong. Connor Burrowes as Martin performs with sincerity and crisp diction, and the choruses are lovely. The two song cycles--Five Songs and Canti Della Lontananza--hold their own against popular American song cycles, but Howarth and Legatte won't establish careers as recitalists based on this recording. While both are in fine voice, their interpretations are one-dimensional, rendering the listener unable to decipher the intention of the texts. --Barbara Eisner Bayer
An Overlooked Masterpiece
Music Is Everything | Colorado Springs, CO USA | 05/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gian Carlo Menotti's "Martin's Lie" has it all: stunningly beautiful music, believable characters, a riveting plot, and a powerful message.
Martin is a young orphan living at a church orphanage. Each night, one child has to sleep in the kitchen to keep the rats away from the food, and it's Martin's night. Suddenly, there is a pounding at the door. Martin answers it, and in rushes a fugitive running from the police. He begs Martin to hide him and Martin initially refuses, but the stranger realizes that he can play on Martin's emotions. He tells Martin that he is his father, and that they can be together if Martin will hide him from the law. Martin complies. The police rush in and everyone wakes up. Gradually, everyone puts more and more pressure on Martin to give up his secret, but Martin so desperately wants a father that he refuses. When the pressure becomes overwhelming, Martin collapses and dies of fright, and everyone around him realizes how cruel they have been. A closing prayer concludes that a lie made out of love by a small boy is no terrible thing and that we should all have more compassion.
It's obvious why this opera doesn't get performed much. Hanging a title role on a young boy is no easy decision, and this opera is a very intense experience. Nonetheless, Martin's Lie stands as one of Menotti's overlooked masterpieces.
Richard Hickox and company do a fine job with this performance. It is well-paced, dramatic, and all of the playing singing is up to the task. Connor Burrowes is haunting in the title role. The recording quality is very good. It's refreshing to see an overlooked work getting the grand treatment. Highly recommended."