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Hector Berlioz - Les Troyes (2002)

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Hector Berlioz - Les Troyes (2002)

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CD1
1. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.1 Choeur de la populace troyenne: "Ha! Ha! Après dix ans"	3:52
2. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.2 Récitatif et air: "Les Grecs ont disparu" - "Malheureux roi!" 8:31
3. Les Troyens / Act 1 - "Chorèbe..." - No.3 Duo: "C'est lui!" - "Quitte-nous dès ce soir"	15:50
4. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.4 Marche et hymne: "Dieux protecteurs"	5:45
5. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.5 Combat de ceste - Pas de lutteurs		1:34
6. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.6 Pantomime: "Andromaque et son fils!"	6:56	
7. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.7 Narration: "Du peuple et des soldats"	1:08
8. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.8 Ottetto et double choeur: "Châtiment effroyable!"	6:21
9. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.9 Récitatif et choeur: "Que la déesse" - "A cet objet sacré"	1:46
10. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.10 Air: "Non, je ne verrai pas"		2:13
11. Les Troyens / Act 1 - No.11 Final: Marche troyenne: "De mes sens éperdus..." 7:09

CD2
1. Les Troyens / Act 2 - No.12 Scène et récitatif: Introduction - "O lumière de Troie!" - "Ah!... fuis, fils de Vénus"	8:38	
2. Les Troyens / Act 2 - No.13 Récitatif et choeur: "Quelle espérance" - "Le salut des vaincus"	2:30
3. Les Troyens / Act 2 - No.14 Choeur-prière: "Ah! Puissante Cybèle"	3:28	
4. Les Troyens / Act 2 - No.15 Récitatif et choeur: "Tous ne périront pas" - "O digne soeur d'Hector"	4:29	
5. Les Troyens / Act 2 - No.16 Final: "Complices de sa gloire" - "Le trésor! le trésor!" 5:21
6. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.17 Choeur: "De Carthage les cieux"		1:38
7. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.18 Chant national: "Gloire à Didon"		2:40
8. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.19 Récitatif et air: "Nous avons vu finir" - "Chers Tyriens"	7:20	
9. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.20 Entrée des constructeurs		1:08	
10. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.21 Entrée des matelots	1:03
11. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.22 Entrée des laboureurs	1:52
12. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.23 Récitatif et choeur: "Peuple!" - "Gloire à Didon"	3:19
13. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.24 Récitatif et duo: "Les chants joyeux" - "Sa voix fait naître dans mon sein"	0:21
14. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.25 Récitatif et air: "Echappés à grand peine" - "Errante sur les mers"2:20
15. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.26 Marche troyenne dans le mode triste - "J'éprouve une soudaine et vive impatience"	2:08	
16. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.27 Récitatif: "Auguste reine, un peuple"	3:32	
17. Les Troyens / Act 3 - No.28 Final: "J'ose à peine annoncer" - "Annonce à nos Troyens" - "Des armes! des armes!"	8:00

CD3
1. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.29 Chasse royale et orage - Pantomime	9:38
2. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.30 Récitatif: "Dites Narbal, qui cause"	3:31
3. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.31 Air et duo: "De quel revers" - "Vaine terreur!"	4:06
4. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.32 Marche pour l'entrée de la reine	1:24	
5. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.33 Ballet: a) Pas des almées	4:17
6. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.33 Ballet: b) Danse des esclaves	4:21
7. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.33 Ballet: c) Pas d'esclaves nubiennes	1:22
8. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.34 Scène et chant d'Iopas: "Assez, ma soeur" - "O blonde Cérès"6:38
9. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.35 Récitatif et quintette: "Pardonne, Iopas" - "O pudeur!" 6:26
10. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.36 Récitatif et septuor: "Mais bannissons" - "Tout n'est que paix"	5:18
11. Les Troyens / Act 4 - No.37 Duo: "Nuit d'ivresse et d'extase"	Josephine Veasey	10:06	

CD4
1. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.38 Chanson d'Hylas: "Vallon sonore"	5:13	
2. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.39 Récitatif et choeur: "Préparez tout" - "Chaque jour voit grandir la colère"	2:20	
3. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.40 Duo: "Par Bacchus! ils sont fous"	2:12	
4. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.41 Récitatif mesuré et air: "Inutiles regrets" - "Ah! quand viendra"6:37
5. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.42 Scène: "Enée!..."	2:31
6. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.43 Scène et choeur: "Debout, Troyens" - "Alerte!"	1:54
7. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.44 Duo et choeur: "Errante sur tes pas" - "Italie!"	5:27	
8. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.45 Scène: "Va, ma soeur, l'implorer"	3:07
9. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.46 Scène: "En mer, voyez!" - "Dieux immortels!"	4:23
10. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.47 Monologue: "Ah! Ah! He vais mourir..."	3:06
11. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.48 Air: "Adieu, fière cité"	3:30	
12. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.49 Cérémonie funèbre: "Dieux de l'oubli" - "S'il faut enfin qu' Enée"4:49
13. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.50 Scène: "Pluton... semble m'être propice"	4:16
14. Les Troyens / Act 5 - No.51 Choeur: "Ah! au secours!" - No.52 Imprécation: "Rome... Rome.. immortelle"	2:35

 

Énée - Jon Vickers
Cassandre - Berit Lindholm
Didon - Josephine Veasey
Chorèbe - Peter Glossop
Anna - Heather Begg
Narbal - Roger Soyer
Iopas - Ian Partridge
Hylas - Ryland Davies
Panthée - Anthony Raffell
Ascagne - Anne Howells
Spectre de Priam - Raimund Herinckx
Spectre de Cassandre - Elizabeth Bainbridge
Spectre d'Hector - Dennis Wicks
Priam - Pierre Thau
Helenus - David Lennox
Un chef grec - Dennis Wicks
Le dieu Mercure - Pierre Thau
Hécube - Elizabeth Bainbridge

Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House,
Covent Garden - Colin Davis, 1969

 

For much of the 19th and early 20th century the music of Berlioz was considered an in joke in musical circles. Outside of the Symphonie Fantastique and perhaps Harold in Italy, most of the composer's works were relegated to the dustbins of history. This was especially true of his operas, which were considered old fashioned and failures. But around 1960 the tables began to turn. Sir Colin Davis and a small group of other conductors spearheaded a Berlioz revival in Britain and America, rescuing many of Berlioz' greatest works from oblivion. Perhaps the biggest feat of rescue was this seminal recording of Berlioz' masterwork, Les Troyens.

Berlioz had a life long love affair with Virgil and particularly with his Carthaginian heroine Dido. Les Troyens is his paean to Dido and to classical civilization in general. The opera is in the traditional French five-act form. The first two acts concern the downfall of Troy and center around the figure of Cassandra, the prophet who is given the gift of second sight but the curse never to be believed. From the outset, Berlioz is a master of the dramatic set piece. The opera opens with Trojans rushing to the plain in front of the city, celebrating the seeming retreat of the Greeks. The music is jubilant and even a little vulgar....so that the dramatic entry of Cassandra and her powerful aria is all the more highlighted. Cassandra is a vocally terrifying role. She only is present in the first two acts, and yet she dominates these acts completely. Berit Lindholm is phenomenal in the role, her voice powerful and yet capable of the tender turns of phrase the role requires when Cassandra remembers her husband Corebus.

The last three acts concern the love affair between Dido and Aeneas. Much of this music is grand, in the best French sense. Court scenes abound, there is a fourth act ballet, the justly famous Royal Hunt and Storm, and long, aching love duets between the principals. Once again, the female role dominates, Though Aeneas gets a wonderful, dramatic and musical treatment by the incomparable Jon Vickers, it's Dido with whom you feel sympathy....the composer did as well. Josephine Veasey is a wonder, simply breathtaking.

The opera is expertly conducted by Sir Colin Davis and the Orchestra of Covent Garden. Davis is one of the least appreciated conductors of his generation. He does not have the charisma of a Karajan or a Bernstein, but he makes up for it in taste, balance, and a fierce and self-effacing dedication to the composer's intentions. Les Troyens has become increasingly popular in the last 30 years, and there is some competition, particularly on DVD. The Met production from 1983 is quite good vocally, though the staging is uninspired at best and laughable at worst. But even with the likes of Tatianna Troyanos and Jessye Norman, that production doesn't hold a candle vocally or musically to Davis' original. Even Davis' own newer recording doesn't compare vocally. This is the version of this masterpiece to get. Berlioz' world in this piece is unique and beautiful and will give you endless hours of enjoyment.

A word to the wise consumer...EMI has packaged Les Troyens with Berlioz' two other worthy operas as well and sells them for a cheaper price in total. You don't get libretti, which can be a problem in this repertoire, but otherwise, the deal is far better than springing for each opera separately. It is not available currently at Amazon.us but can be ordered easily from Amazon.uk. I would recommend that to those who just can't enough Berlioz. It's a real deal! --- Christopher Forbes "weirdears" (Brooklyn,, NY)

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Last Updated (Sunday, 25 August 2013 19:55)

 

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