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Thread: Debussy - Pelleas et Melisande

  1. #31
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Other comments on Karajan's vision of the work. When HvK conducted the opera in Rome in 1954 he upset Toscanini because by insisting that it should be sung in the original French. In 1962 he conducted a legendary production at the Vienna State Opera. Commenting on this performance, Joseph Wechsberg writing in Opera magazine said, "For the first time in my experience, I was shaken by the power of Debussy's music; previously I had only been moved by its beauty. This is a lyrical and a dramatic interpretation and when the inexorable climax comes towards the end one sits spellbound. Karajan opens the delicate texture of the score, lovingly displaying its beauty ...and always painting, painting with music."
    Neville Cardus, describing the same Vienna production, said:
    "Pelléas et Mélisande is a drama of the inner, the really "real" world, a drama of implications, of psychological conflicts too secret to concentrate into the obvious attitudes of life, exhibitory and active...Arkel is old age poignantly particularised. The music by which Debussy gives him grief and wisdom is bowed in its sombre-moving phrases and harmonies, so pathetically in contrast to the golden throated lyricism of Pelléas; the innocent youngness - but older in herself than she knows - of Mélisande; and the simple manliness of Golaud, that unfortunate horseman. All these people are pulsating themselves, but we see them from a distance: they move in a permanent timeless dimension. It is ourselves, watching and overhearing from our clock-measured, active, merely phenomenal world, who are unreal. Debussy does not describe, he evokes. His orchestra, unlike Wagner's does not point. It covers everything, a veiled, unheard, yet heard, presence - omnipresent. I can think of no better compliment to Karajan...and the singers than to say that all these intrinsic qualities of the work were brought home."
    The reading I known is controversial. But opinion is divided as positively as negatively.
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-03-2018 at 10:30.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    Ingelbrecht is a recent discovery for me and all of his Debussy is impressive, especially the disc with La Damoiselle Elue providing a potent dose of pure undiluted Debussy.... for those like me who rarely listen to entire operas

    Sorry I can't listen to Herbie anymore, even his Sibelius has gone stale now...
    Last edited by philoctetes; Oct-03-2018 at 15:30.

  4. #33
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by les24preludes View Post
    That's the Abbado.

  5. #34
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    Last night, in preparation for seeing the Met's production net week, my wife and I watched Rattle and the BPO do a semi-staged (by Peter Sellars) production, with Christian Gerhaher, Magdalena Kožena, and Gerald Finley on the BPO's Digital Concert Hall. A brilliant production, magnificently sung AND acted. One didn't miss sets or costumes. Sellars ingeniously used the architecture of the Philharmonie. The singers didn't just stand next to the conductor and sing but moved around the auditorium. I have never been so moved by this opera. Finley was nothing short of astonishing.

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