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Gian-Carlo Menotti : The Medium - The Telephone. Santoro, Samsonova-Khayet, Hertzberg, Grante, Scogna.
4 de Classica
Classica from July 2019
Review de Louis Bilodeau
Page No. 100
Format : 2 CD
Total Time : 01:30:11

Recording : 14/03/2018
Location : Modène
Country : Italie
Sound : Stereo

Label : Brilliant
Catalog No. : BRIL95361
EAN : 5028421953618
Price Code : DM013A

Publishing Year : 2018
Release Date : 28/11/2018

Genre : Classical
Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007)
The Medium, tragédie en 2 actes
The Telephone ou L'amour à trois, opéra-buffa en 1 acte

Marily Santoro (Monica)
Julija Samsonova-Khayet (Madame Flora)
Chiara Isotton (Mrs. Gobineau)
Lorenzo Grante (Mr. Gobineau)
Roxana Herrera Diaz (Mrs. Nolan)
Arianna Manganello (voix off)
Elizabeth Hertzberg (Lucy)
Lorenzo Grante (Ben)
Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana
Flavio Emilio Scogna, direction

Montrant dès le plus jeune âge des dispositions pour la musique, Gian-Carlo Menotti a vu sa vocation évoluer avec un exil forcé aux USA à l’âge de 17 ans. Ce qui lui procura cependant l’occasion d’entamer de sérieuses études musicales et de faire des rencontres qui allaient marquer toute sa vie. Brilliant propose ici deux courtes œuvres, composées en 1946 et 1947, dans des genres aussi différents que le drame et l’opéra-buffa, la seconde venant compléter la première pour les représentations new-yorkaises. On appréciera, côté partitions, des intrigues qui vont à l’essentiel tout en permettant d’explorer des registres contrastés, le tout dans un langage directement accessible. Côté interprétation, on savourera l’engagement d’une équipe jeune, talentueuse, se consacrant très efficacement à la restitution de ces petits bijoux qui plairont notamment aux admirateurs de Britten, Bernstein ou R. Strauss. De quoi prouver que Menotti, un temps méprisé par l’avant-garde, conserve son intérêt et son actualité, comme en témoigne la redécouverte dont il est l’objet sur des scènes d’opéra de plus en plus nombreuses. (Alain Monnier)

A major new, native recording of a sparkling operatic double-bill. After Amelia goes to the ball was staged in 1937 at the Metropolitan Opera with acclaim, Gian Carlo Menotti became hot property. Two further radio operas were comparative failures but it was with The Medium that Menotti really hit his stride. A tragedy in two acts for five singers, a dance-mime role and a chamber orchestra of 14 players, Menotti’s opera is both dramatically astute in the Puccini tradition and composed with an acute ear for mood and mystery: the score, often quite dissonant, conveys an eerie, morbid atmosphere. According to the composer, ‘The Medium is actually a play of ideas. It describes the tragedy of a woman caught between two worlds, a world of reality which she cannot wholly comprehend, and a supernatural world in which she cannot believe.’ Premiered in 1945, The Medium received its first Broadway staging two years later, with a hugely successful a run of 212 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. As a curtain-raiser for these performances (and a striking contrast), Menotti wrote a light one-act comedy in the opera buffa tradition, The Telephone, which he sub-titled L’amour à trois. The opera’s central role of Lucy became a huge success for its first interpreter, Marilyn Cotlow, and now the young American soprano Elizabeth Hertzberg steps into her shoes with an assured portrayal. Made under studio conditions in Modena in 2018, these recordings took place in association with semi-staged performances given by artists on the distinguished Raina Kabaivanska Masterclass programme. According to the Giornale della Musica, Hertzberg was ‘excellent’ as Lucy, and more critical praise was directed towards the fluent and insightful conducting of Scogna. There are comparatively few modern recordings to rival the classic 1947 recording; an essential acquisition for avid listeners of 20th century music theatre.

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