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Torrent Jules Massenet - Don Quichotte (2012) [DVD9 NTSC]

Jules Massenet - Don Quichotte (2012) [DVD9 NTSC]

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Jules Massenet - Don Quichotte (2012) [DVD9 NTSC]

Actors: JosÈ Van Dam, Silvia Tro SantafÈ, Werner Van Mechelen, Marc Minkowski, Orchestre symphonique de la Monnaie
Directors: Laurent Pelly, BenoÓt Vlietinck
Writers: Jules Massenet, Henri Cain
Producers: Theatre de la Monnaie
Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
Language: French (DD)
Subtitles: French, English, Dutch
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Naive
DVD Release Date: May 29, 2012
Run Time: 172 minutes

.: Tracklist :.
This production of one of the Massenet's final masterpieces of Massenet, Don Quichotte, was presented in May 2010 at the Belgium National Opera La Monnaie. It was the last stage role portayed by the Belgian baritone Jos+™ van Dam. Marc Minkowski, leading the Orchestre de La Monnaie, confirms his status as a master of French repertoire. Also included - a documentary following the production of the opera performance

Anything that serves to draw more attention to Massenetís wonderful valedictory opera is a good thing in my eyes. Itís high time this opera got more of the credit that it deserves. Its endless stream of lovely melodies makes it a real winner, with frequent splashes of Spanish colour serving to enrich the texture. Itís surely worthy of standing alongside Manon and Werther in the popularity stakes.

This issue deserves particular praise because the central performance, on which so much of the opera hangs, was JosÈ van Damís farewell to the stage at La Monnaie. The great Belgian bass could not have chosen a better opera with which to bow out. The bittersweet character of so much of the music suits the event down to the ground, especially the moist-eyed final scene of the Donís death. That said, thereís enough humour and levity in the other scenes to ensure the occasion doesnít become too lachrymose. Van Dam is on very fine form here, clearly relishing the importance of the occasion. His gift for vocal flair is still there, even if the lower part of his register is nowhere near as full as it was. He is at his finest in the third actís scene with the bandits where, in his prayer scene, he rediscovers all the beauty that made his voice so special in its heyday. The duet with DulcinÈe in the fourth act is also extremely moving, but he saves the best for the final scene where his portrayal is touching in its simplicity. He barely moves a muscle in the whole scene, allowing the music and, especially, the voice to do the acting. The moment when he bequeaths to Sancho the Island of Dreams is lovely. Leaving aside Furlanettoís recent assumption of the role on the Mariinsky label, the main point of comparison for this release will be Van Damís EMI Classics set from 1992. Eighteen years separate these recordings, so itís not surprising that Van Dam was in finer voice back then. The bottom of the register, in particular, sounds much stronger in 1992, though the world-weariness had increased by 2010, thereby making this interpretation more poignant.

Silvia tro SantafÈ is a very successful DulcinÈe, though, and runs EMIís Teresa Berganza very close. Her voice is a little opaque but still luxuriant - the same quality I detect in the more famous tones of Anna Netrebko. That makes her very successful in this role, however. She is very winning in the first scene when she sets the Don his task of recovering her necklace, as she is in the final scene of the fourth act where she attempts some sort of reconciliation with the Don after rejecting his marriage proposal. She is still full of skittishness and coquetry, giving her an appropriately unsympathetic edge in the fiesta scene. The one place where the 1992 recording scores easily over this DVD is in Werner van Mechelenís Sancho Panza. His voice isnít gruff, exactly, but he lacks lyrical tone and he spills over into parlando style much too easily, most damagingly in his second act condemnation of the wiles of women. This should sound much more lyrical than it does. Alain Fondary is much finer for Plasson. However, Minkowskiís quartet of suitors makes a good contrast to the more substantial central roles, and the singing of the chorus is very good.

Pellyís production flows from the books of chivalry which, in Cervantesí novel, addle Don Quixoteís brain and turn him to his misguided feats of knight errantry. Every scene is either dominated by or involves mounds of books and leaves of paper, reinforcing the idea that this is a fantasy, though in the final scene, when the Don finally understands his folly, the books have been torched. When we first see the Don he is sitting in his armchair reading a book. He observes all the action on stage but does not take part until his name is called, suggesting that the whole opera is, in fact, taking place within a dream. It is interesting and appealing, though, to see his character visibly age as the opera progresses. There are a few strikingly bonkers moments that weíve come to expect from Pelly, such as the guitar-playing horse in the fourth act, and the altercation with the windmills is very well done. I was a little concerned that Pelly was approaching the whole work as if to take the mickey out of it - looking at it in inverted commas, if you like. I guess thatís what Massenetís treatment of the story is all about anyway, so in the end it didnít bother me. The gaudy colours and undoubtedly impressive sets place the whole thing in a story-book world that seems to characterise many of Pellyís opera productions: see his Covent Garden Cendrillon and Fille du RÈgiment for further amiable examples. In the end I found it mostly very winning.

In the pit Minkowski holds the whole evening together with charm, affection and his famous ear for detail, enlivening each phrase with a spark of delight. The packaging of the disc is pretty lavish, with a full colour booklet and cardboard case, though the sideways orientation of the spine means it wonít sit comfortably on your shelf. Itís a shame, though, that the only sound available is 2-channel stereo; a surround option would have been nice.

The bonus film runs to a very generous 61 minutes, giving you not just interviews with Van Dam, Pelly and the creative team, but also myriad insights into the backstage process, including building the very impressive sets and the audition process for finding the quartet of suitors.

.: Other Files :.


Name:Jules Massenet - Don Quichotte (2012) [DVD9 NTSC]
Category:Music > DVD
Lang:French  French
Total Size:7.22 GB
Info Hash:a67b1fa9f03266587632c9d7baf19efb2d2a6c81
Added By:tarporley
Date Added:05-01-2017 05:42:41


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