Search - Georges Bizet, Michel Plasson, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse :: Bizet - Les PÍcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) / Hendricks, Aler, Quilico, Capitole de Toulouse, Plasson

Bizet - Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) / Hendricks, Aler, Quilico, Capitole de Toulouse, Plasson
Georges Bizet, Michel Plasson, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse
Bizet - Les PÍcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) / Hendricks, Aler, Quilico, Capitole de Toulouse, Plasson
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #2


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CD Reviews

A clear first choice
daniel0302 | New York, NY United States | 09/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This recording is a must have.For many years after it's premiere. "The Pearl Fishers" held a place in the repertoire nearly as important as "Carmen", but its popularity dropped significantly during the course of the 20th century. A compelling case for the opera is made with this recording. Barbara Hendricks, John Aler, and Gino Quilico are three of the most stylish, musical, and intelligent singers of their generation. They constitute an un-French cast proving to be (as each has done elsewhere) remarkable exponents of French style. They each contribute a beautiful, idiomatic performance that is truly glorious. Hendricks and Aler are just plain exquisite. Quilico is the best Zurga on record, and his dynamic performance keeps the dramatic balance on the baritone. Michele Plasson leads a wonderful performance, capturing Bizet's atmospheric colors and dramatic contrasts with a skill hardly equaled on other recordings. He utilizes the orchestra and chorus to maximum effect throughout. The dramatic choral finale of the second act is magnificent and spine tingling; in lighter passages of the score when delicacy is called for, that is what is delivered. Questions of performance edition, and what is and is not really Bizet, are points well covered elsewhere. However, I must praise the choice here to end the opera with the cathartic reprise of the melody from the Act 1 tenor / baritone duet. Sung by the tenor and soprano in the finale, it reinforces the conflicted friendship between the two men as the thematic and moral center if the opera.Given the performances, conducting, and recorded sound superior to earlier releases, this recording is a clear first choice."
The Best Ever
James Morris | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 01/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"About 12 years ago, when I was first learning about opera, I relied heavily on the recommendations of a friend of mine, who I consider to be an expert. This friend is an opera devotee of the highest order; he has hundreds of opera recordings and attended his first Met performance in 1948 or so. He has been a lover of opera since his teens, and has committed many Italian librettos to memory. He had been trying to interest me in opera for years, but I was almost 40 when I finally decided that it was time I took the plunge. Naturally, I allowed him to suggest which recordings to acquire, which to steer clear of, and why.

When I shortly started asking, "What is this opera by Bizet called `the Pearl Fishers', he told me to "get the version with Micheau and Gedda - it's known as the best recording of it". So I ordered it, but in the meanwhile, I also acquired this 1988 version with Hendricks and Aler. When I mentioned it to my friend, he sniffed, "I don't know it, so I can't comment. But you can't go wrong with the Micheau / Gedda interpretation." I tried to tell him how much I liked the Hendricks / Aler recording, but he told me to wait until I'd heard the one he'd suggested.

Some weeks later I finally acquired the recommended classic recording, but, having grown accustomed to the Hendricks and Aler reading, I found the earlier version somewhat lacking. So I bought a new copy of what was now (and has remained to this day) my favorite opera recording, and mailed it to my old friend. I sat back to wait for his opinion.

I didn't wait long. He called me a few days later. "I congratulate you on your taste," he started. "I'm going to tell you something I never thought I'd say - this is not only far and away the best recording I've ever heard of this particular opera, it's one of the best opera recordings I've ever heard in my life!" He then proceeded to tell me how fresh, vibrant and unique he found this recording to be, and later told me that he listened to it every day for weeks, and recently told me he still hasn't grown tired of it.

So, anyone who is contemplating purchasing this glorious recording, I say go for it. My example proves that it will be loved by opera fans both old and new alike.

One of the Best
Brent D. Lautenschlegar | Franklin, TN USA | 11/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This opera is through-composed in the sense that there is no filler material, no 'going through the motions' music, none of the uninspired material that poisons so much of the operatic works so often performed and recorded today. The genius belatedly recognized for Carmen is fully on display in this work of ravishing beauty. I first heard this recording when relatively new to opera, and in the 15 years since have found little that favorably compares. The subordination of the music to the words/story/action that is a hallmark of American opera and quite typical of most works composed in the 20th century is thankfully nowhere to be found in Bizet. An analysis of the score will validate what one hears --- continuously beautiful melody, interesting harmonic construction, graceful orchestration in the French style championed by Berlioz, effect, an opera that never bores, never seems dull or routine, never causes the mind to wander to other things. And a performance that fully deserves the fatuously overused 'committed' phrase that one encounters in many mainstream musical reviews. You will not be disappointed."