Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giacomo Meyerbeer, Renato Palumbo, Warren Mok|
Meyerbeer - Robert le Diable / Mok, Ciofi, Surjan, Martina Franca, Palumbo
Listen to Samples
This recording is a triumph in every respect
J Overdijkink | the Netherlands | 02/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forget all previous recordings of Robert le Diable, because here is a document that is the successor to them all. "the Festival of Martina Franca made a tribute to one of the most important composers of the 19th century"This recording was made during the Italian Martina Franca Festival in summer 2000. And, unlike the reviews in the sixties about the Maggio Musicale revival with Scotto, this production was an absolute, resounding succes, both with the press, not to mention the public. The praise was unanimous, from the local newspaper to the biggest national Italian newspaper. I will describe the content of the cd by summerizing in short the most important points of the (generally ecstatic) reviews. But first a short introduction to Robert le Diable. It was Meyerbeer's first Grand Opera and the first opera he wrote for Paris. Up untill the First World War it was hugely succesful throughout the world, from Calcutta to New Orleans, from Stockholm to Lisbon and the first opera to be performed at the Paris Opera a thousand times (within sixty years). It also featured the first Romantic ballet, depicting a the sduction of Robert by a group of demonic, dead nuns. This work was greatly admired by the public, critics and other composers, including Wagner, before he became obsessedwith anti-semitism.The production on this cd: The role of Robert is one of the most difficult in the entire repertory: "...it needs volume, 'declamati martellanti', 'agilita', exceptionally high notes, endurance like a marathoner and even a certain humor." But Warren Mok did a very good job: "He did the best he could and the results he achieved were more than acceptable". "He gave us a great performance", but "his French was...quite incomprehensible". "The rest of the cast was perfect", their performances ranging from: "authoritative", "powerful", "splendid" for Giorgio Surjan as Bertram (who was also a great actor); "a triumph", "simply unforgettable" for Patrizia Ciofi as Isabelle, to: "perfect, both as singer and as actres", "her dramatic and passionate performance was...unequaled", "excellent both vocally and scenically" for the 'Alice' of the opera: Annalisa Raspagliosi. The conducting by Renato Palumbo was praised with: "at the very least, splendid", "stimulating and truly musical", "authoritative, imaginative, but always very accurate", and so on. "Rarely does one see such a unanimity of praises" (in reviews).About the used edition: Palumbo was forced to use a truncated version, because it was performed in the open air. But this version is almost the same as used at the original premier in Paris. Approximately twenty minutes where cut from the Paris edition. Palumbo said he stunned by the beauty and expressive fore of Meyerbeer's recitatives (as they are in any of Meyerbeer's opera's), so he decided not to cut there at all. There are some cuts in the musical numbers (among others: second act ballet was cut by half; third act: unabridged, except for second couplet of Alice's aria; fifth act: monk's chorus, reprise of "Dieu puissant, ciel propice" in the Grand Trio).So here is a cd which any opera lover should have. "...the artistic result of these performances is very top-level and it made every listener troubled and happy" BUY IT!! Lastly, I would like to say there might come a recording of this season's Berlin production of Robert le Diable. That production is far more complete than this one, using all of Meyerbeer's music (more than performed at the premier) and of equal performance quality.For the complete rewiews of the Martina Franca production (this cd) go to: www.meyerbeer.com."