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Thread: French opera on cd

  1. #1
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Default French opera on cd

    if this already is a thread please remove. i didn't find one.

    i have the usual handful,i guess

    Hoffman, Faust, Lakme, Carmen

    What other French operas do you recommend and which recording?

    thank you

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    if this already is a thread please remove. i didn't find one.

    i have the usual handful,i guess

    Hoffman, Faust, Lakme, Carmen

    What other French operas do you recommend and which recording?

    thank you
    I don't think there's a 'French Opera on CD' thread but I think it might be easier for reference purposes if we have threads for each composer. For example Offenbach has written lots so I think he deserves his own thread.

    See what others think & if so we can get the thread title changed if necessary.
    Ann

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Saint-Saens - Samson et Dalila (Vickers/Gorr cond. by Pretre - on EMI)

    Ravel - L'Enfant et les sortileges/L'Heure espagnole (cond. by Maazel - on DG)

    Debussy - Pelleas et Melisande (Ewing/Le Roux cond. by Abbado - on DG)
    Last edited by elgars ghost; Nov-22-2011 at 21:43.

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Massenet - Manon - My favourite French opera. I have Gheorgiu/Alagna conducted by Pappano and am happy with it. I love listening to Alagna's French. But the ultimate Manon for me is Dessay on DVD.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Since Alma's not here to say it . . .

    Berlioz - Les Troyens. Folks here were partial to either the Colin Davis / ROH or the Charles Dutoit / Montreal CD. But definitely check out the John Eliot Gardiner / Chatelet DVD as well!
    Alan

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    thanks all. that's why TC is the best. you

  8. #7
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Pelleas

    Dutoit, Abbado, Boulez, other?

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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Lots of discussion has been made recently concerning lists- one thing I think we can agree on is that the relative value of lists is proportional to the insight of the folks making the compilation- and that having been said, I think this list, which had some pretty sharp opera folks taking a major role in its assembly, could be a useful acquaintance. I'll pull the 'French top-10' over here...

    1. Berlioz, Les Troyens (5 overall). [Repeating myself]- it's not just some institutional whim that led us to Troyens. Donald Grout (of the famous text on Western Music) also asserts that this is an all-time masterwork.

    2. Bizet, Carmen (12 overall). We all already know about this one.

    3. Offenbach, Tales of Hoffman (24 overall).

    4. Rameau, Les Indies Galantes (46 overall). One of the many Baroque opera rediscoveries.

    5. Massenet, Manon (52 overall). Still the most famous Massenet opera.

    6. Debussy, Pélleas et Mélisande (53 overall). A 'marmite' opera. It's likely you'll either love it or hate it. It has enough lovers to keep it firmly in the repertory.

    7. Berlioz, Damnation of Faust (54 overall).

    8. Gounod, Faust (57 overall). There was a time when Faust was arguably the most famous French opera of them all. Are we right to hold it in lesser regard? You can judge for yourself, because Faust is headed for a Met-in-HD screening on December 10.

    *9. Gluck, Orfeo & Eurydice (60 overall). The asterisk is my reservation concerning considering this fully French... but regardless, the river of opera development passes unmistakably through Gluck- and so his work should be auditioned, if only for that reason.

    10. Saint-Saëns, Samson et Dalila (71 overall).


    And yet, there are many French operas that some of our valued contributors failed to get on the top-100 list. I was only able to just sneak Thomas' Mignon under-the-wire. A similar attempt with Charpentier's Louise came up just short. Sospiro long advocated for Thomas' other major opera 'Hamlet' as worthy of a slot. Elgarian nominated Massenet's Cendrillon.

    Happy exploring!
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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