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Ruders: Tjenerindens Frotaelling (The Handmaid's Tale)
Poul Ruders, Michael Schonwandt, Royal Danish Orchestra & Opera Chorus
Ruders: Tjenerindens Frotaelling (The Handmaid's Tale)
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #2

With The Handmaid's Tale, which is based on a novel by Margaret Atwood, Danish composer Poul Ruders has created a powerful opera that presents the bleakest of futures for mankind. Ruders uses an extensive musical vocabular...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Poul Ruders, Michael Schonwandt, Royal Danish Orchestra & Opera Chorus, Marianne Rørholm, Poul Elming
Title: Ruders: Tjenerindens Frotaelling (The Handmaid's Tale)
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Marco Polo
Original Release Date: 1/1/2000
Re-Release Date: 1/16/2001
Genre: Classical
Style: Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 730099986526

Synopsis

Amazon.com
With The Handmaid's Tale, which is based on a novel by Margaret Atwood, Danish composer Poul Ruders has created a powerful opera that presents the bleakest of futures for mankind. Ruders uses an extensive musical vocabulary to portray the horrors of a society in which women living in sin or second marriages are forced to become "handmaids," who are sent to childless families to be impregnated. This society, Gilead, forms the backdrop on which Ruders and his librettist, Paul Bentley, can pose the most uncomfortable of questions. Ruders's orchestral colors are frequently hyper-expressionist, as befits a story of the utmost oppression. The dramatic effectiveness of the piece is never in doubt; frequent flashbacks put the ongoing drama in context and accentuate it. Ruders draws on a vast range of techniques to create this futuristic world. The Handmaid's Tale is a draining experience, but it is nevertheless stimulating. One is left with the highest sense of admiration for Ruders's seemingly endless invention. Marianne Rorholm, in the main role of Offred, is astonishing in her stamina and involvement, projecting all the vulnerability and hopelessness of the central character. There is not a single weak link in the cast of this performance, recorded live in March 2000. Strongly recommended, but not to the faint of heart. --Colin Clarke
 

CD Reviews

MORE THEATRICAL THAN OPERATIC
F. FUNES | WHITE PLAINS,NEW YORK | 09/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have to credit danish composer Poul Ruders for his supreme effort in musicizing such a complex work like Margaret Attwood's
prizewinning novel and translate it into TJENERINNENDES FORTAELNING.It's a great job,specially the part of Offred,which
can be extremely taxing for the poor soprano who takes it on.
As for the rest of the piece,to me it sounds more like modern theatre rather than opera,like many other works by composers like Harrison Birtwistle,York Holler or David Blake.Listening to this work means a powerful schock to the system,so if you're not into this type of works,just handle it with tongs...
It would be great to listen to the piece without the libretto first,just the music,then follow it with the text,although I'm fully conscious that both things form a compact block in this
particular work.Enjoy,as much as you can and be warned of where political and mainly religious fanaticism could lead us all to,which is one of the many messages of Attwood's novel and by extension of Ruders piece."
Stunning
Thomas F. Dillingham | Columbia, Missouri USA | 07/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ruders and Bentley, along with the outstanding cast and orchestra of this recorded performance, have captured the core of Margaret Atwood's horrific vision of a possible future. Ruders's music is astonishingly inventive (as the other reviewers have pointed out), with moments of intensity that rival, for example, Strauss's "Elektra" or Berg's "Lulu," while managing to remain singable and listenable. The libretto distils the strongest moments of Atwood's narrative into what must be intense dramatic moments onstage. (Too bad the film did not have a similarly inventive screenplay.)I suspect this will rank among the best of 20th century operas and may well be among the few that receive many productions."