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Renato Palumbo - Meyerbeer: Robert le Diable (2001)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 2-04-2018, 08:14
Renato Palumbo - Meyerbeer: Robert le Diable (2001)
Artist: Renato Palumbo
Title Of Album: Meyerbeer: Robert le Diable
Year Of Release: 2001
Label: Dynamic
Country: Italy
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (image + .cue, log, artwork)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 03:23:41
Full Size: 722 MB


CD 1
Act I:
1. Overture
2. Scene 1: Versez a tasse pleine
3. Scene 2: Jadis regnait en Normandie
4. Scene 2: C'est en trop! …
5. Scene 4: O mon prince!
6. Scene 4: Va, dit-elle, va, mon enfant
7. Scene 4: Je n'ai pu fermer …
8. Scene 7: Le duc de Normandie
9. Scene 7: O fortune! A ton caprice
10. Scene 7: J'ai perdu: ma revanche! )
11. Scene 7: Malheur sans egal

Act II
12. Scene 1: Que je hais la grandeur don't l'eclat m'environne!
13. Scene 1: Cavatine: En vain j'espere
14. Scene 2: Courage! Allons, montrez-vous a ses yeux
15. Scene 3: Avec bonte voyez ma peine
16. Scene 3: Silence! On vient
17. Scene 4: Ah! Dans ces jeux guerriers
18. Scene 6: Accourez au-devant d'elle
19. Scene 6: Ballet

CD 2
1. Scene 6: Quand tour nos chevalliers

2. Scene 1: Du rendez-vous
3. Scene 2: Encore un de gagne!
4. Scene 2: Noirs demons, fantomes
5. Scene 3: Raimbaut! Raimbaut!
6. Scene 3: Quand je quittai la Normandie
7. Scene 4: Mais Alice, qu'as-tu donc?
8. Scene 5: Fatal moment, cruel mystere!
9. Scene 6: Qu'a-t-elle donc?
10. Scene 6: Duet: L'honneur fut toujours le soutien
11. Scene 7: Voici donc les debris du monastere antique
12. Scene 7: Procession des nonnes
13. Scene 7: Jadis filles du ciel
14. Scene 7: Bacchanale
15. Scene 7: Voici le lieu temoin d'un terrible mystere!
16. Scene 7: Air de Ballet
17. Scene 7: Air de Ballet
18. Scene 7: Air de Ballet
19. Scene 7: Il est a nous!

CD 3
Act IV
1. Scene 1: Noble et belle Isabelle
2. Scene 1: Mais n'est-ce pas cette jeune etrangere
3. Scene 1: Frappez les airs, cris d'allegresse
4. Scene 2: Du magique rameau qui s'abaisse sur eux
5. Scene 2: Ah! Qu'elle est belle!
6. Scene 2: Duet: Grand Dieu, toi qui voit mes alarmes
7. Scene 2: Cavatine: Robert, toi que j'aime
8. Scene 2: Quelle aventure! …

Act V
9. Scene 1: Gloire a la Providence!
10. Scene 2: Pourquoi dans ce lieu
11. Scene 2: Je concois que ces chants
12. Scene 2: Je t'ai trompe, je fus coupable
13. Scene 2: L'arret est prononce
14. Scene 3: Que faut-il faire?
15. Scene 3: Mon fils, ma tendresse assidue
16. Scene 3: Chantez, troupe immortelle

Recommended: not so much for the performance or even the work as for the experience. And even that is not necessarily something you will want to repeat very often. The point is that it may be now or never. Robert le diable, received triumphantly in Paris at its premiere in 1831, took centre- stage in the opera houses of Europe for two or three decades: a pantechnicon of an opera I was about to call it, and then thought to see what the dictionary had to say, finding there ‘the name of a bazaar of all kinds of artistic work’ – and the date 1830! Apart from a few excerpts (the Invocation, Alice’s ‘Robert, toi que j’aime’, some ballet music) it was more or less removed from sound and sight throughout the 20th century, and no other complete recording is listed. It’s a bold opera company that takes it up now, for it is a prodigious consumer of resources, musical, scenic and balletic, devised for an audience with stamina and the determination to make a good five-act night of it.

Sheer length is one of its problems, and yet a kind of glory too (it’s like being taken on a tour of some vast 19th-century building, massive in construction, rich in picturesque detail). In 1862 The Times was pleased to observe that the ‘performance finishes now just before midnight instead of one o’clock’, and the present live version (with frequent and mostly judicious cuts) lasts three-and-a-half hours. This is hard on the singers, for whereas Les Huguenots shares its burdens and opportunities among seven principals, Robert has only four (or five counting Raimbaut, the second tenor).
Of the two sopranos, Isabelle has the more brilliant part, Alice the best aria. Neither of the present exponents is ideally steady but both are conscientious and Patrizia Ciofi’s pure tone and expressive style earn gratitude. Bertram (the real devil of the piece) is a tremendous role for a charismatic bass: there is plenty of real singing to do, but he must have that extra quality of ‘presence’, both in timbre and appearance. Giorgio Surian has a strong, dark voice which is all too often uneven in production.

The Robert, Warren Mok, is interesting, possibly phenomenal. It’s a voice I wouldn’t feel sure about without having heard it ‘in the flesh’, but he has the range, the fluency, the staying power and (it would seem) the weight of a genuine heroic tenor for Meyerbeer. It is also a voice of many colours, sometimes soft and veiled, then incisively forward, taking the high notes mostly with a straight tenor edge but sometimes with a well-placed head-voice. Such a combination is not too common these days.

The Valle d’Itria production seems to have involved a good deal of stage movement, rumbling somewhat alarmingly throughout the first scenes, quietening down later. Balance favours stage rather than orchestra; applause from the audience seems distant and, at first, uncertain. Renato Palumbo conducts with care for cohesion as well as detail, and the performance (maybe the opera itself also) gets a kind of second wind at the start of Act 4, which is when ordinary mortals might be thinking of going home.

It is important to stay the course and to give the old warhorse a trial run. If this recording convinces enough people that the opera deserves a better production it will have performed a useful service... ~ Gramophone

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