27 April 2012

Gluck: Iphigenie en Tauride

Easy CD-DA | FLAC tracks | Covers | 618 Mb

Date CD: May 11, 2004 | Telarc | 134:10

Disc One
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Disc Two
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Orfeo ed Eurydice may be Gluck's most popular opera, but this one, Iphigénie en Tauride, is probably his greatest. I normally hate his reformations--I like florid vocal lines and over-statement in opera--but in this work, his penultimate French opera (premiered in Paris in 1779), the characters' emotions are so close to the surface that the whole packs quite a dramatic wallop. Many in the opening audiences, however, still wanted something more Italianate, and the following year, Nicola Piccini set the same libretto. It was jeered off the stage (not least because the soprano was drunk) and has since disappeared. Gluck's version occasionally pops up and it's sounding better and better.

This set supersedes the other three (at one time or another) available: The 1957 live La Scala/Callas set is only worthy for Callas and is in terrible sound; the one on Chant du Monde, live from Buenos Aires in 1964 and starring Régine Crespin and Guy Chauvet is terrific but unfindable; and the John Eliot Gardiner recording is very good, but this one is better. The opera is about familial love and deep friendship and as such lacks the usual "love" music and interest. But the waters here run deep and Martin Pearlman and his singers plumb those depths. Christine Goerke's Iphigénie is towering. Rich with expression and beautiful tone, she is torn but always dignified--this is a truly superb reading. Almost no less good is the Orestes of Rodney Gilfry, who uses his high baritone with intelligence and ease, singing tenderly when needed and explosively at other times. Vinson Cole firmly and effectively brings his no-longer-so-light-and-all-the-better-for-it tenor to the role of Pylades, and Stephen Salters, as the villainous Thaos, may sing coarsely but it suits the character. Pearlman gets vivid, exciting playing from his period-instrument Boston Baroque and offers a 28-minute music-illustrated lecture after the close of the opera, on the second CD. The sound is luxurious and clear, and the singers' diction is always clear and forward. This set is a wonderful surprise--highly recommended.

--Robert Levine,

Christine Goerke
Rodney Gilfry
Vinson Cole
Stephen Salters
Sharon Baker
Iayne West 

Boston Baroque
Martin Pearlman


YiannisK said...

Excellent interpretation. Better than Gardiner's. A real joy to listen to. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much.
Until now I had an old recording with La Callas.
Ihis recording is a real joy listening to.

Renildo Rodrigues said...

Wonderful recording! Many thanks!