ClassicsOnline Home » GRETRY, A.-E.-M.: Magnifique (Le) [Opera] (Gonzalez Toro, Calleo, Krull, Thompson, Sulayman, Williams, Scarlata, Opera Lafayette Orchestra, Brown) > Review List

GRETRY, A.-E.-M.: Magnifique (Le) [Opera] (Gonzalez Toro, Calleo, Krull, Thompson, Sulayman, Williams, Scarlata, Opera Lafayette Orchestra, Brown)

Composer(s):Gretry, Andre-Ernest-Modeste
Period(s) Classical (1750-1830)
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.660305
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry was the greatest French composer of opéra-comique in the eighteenth century. His librettist for Le Magnifique, Jean-Michel Sedaine, took a tale by La Fontaine and fashioned it into a compelling libretto. Grétry responded with an outstanding score, including one of the first programmatic overtures in musical history. His expressive love music, and extended preludes and postludes, add to the theatrical variety of this important and varied opera.


Review By Blas Matamoro,Scherzo,March 2013


Review By Dominique Joucken,Classica,


Review By Dominique Joucken,Classica,

Clarity, light and sobriety are perfectly adapted to this work’s esthetics. One must always return to Grétry. His art represents an accomplished form of classicism. The line is clear, the airy planes, the melody firmly drawn, all this is a fount of youth to our postmodern ears used to such a frenzy of sounds. The clever wits will complain that they cannot find in it the intellectual richness of a Johann Sebastian Bach, nor the breath of passion that Ludwig van Beethoven provides, but the aim of Andre Grétry is different: To give the musical equivalent of the thoughts of Enlightenment and to that effect present an ideal in balance and measure. Music reigns here and it is an unadulterated joy: limpid overture, melancholic airs, balanced ensembles, everything is in

To resuscitate this unjustly forgotten work, an important link in the production of Grétry, Naxos has had the happy idea to call in the American Ryan Brown and his ensemble Opera Lafayette, who are already the authors of several major successes in this repertoire. If the orchestra instruments are modern, this does not prevent bounciness and vivacity, and guarantees rock solid pitch accuracy, particularly in the brass. The singers, mostly not French speaking, are at ease in this universe: everyone is easily understood, and no one pushes or overdoes a passage which would have the effect of destroying the fragile beauty of this music. We will mention in particular the soprano Elizabeth Calleo, whose Clementine is ideally fresh and prim. A beautiful return of a score which bears its name appropriately. © Classica


Review By,December 2012

Grétry’s programmatic overture, a rarity for its time, sets up the story nicely, and the music of the opera—which runs 80 minutes and which Naxos has managed to fit onto a single CD—propels the plot along neatly, with the love music being especially expressive. Opera Lafayette has successfully revived quite a few long-unperformed operas, and does itself proud…with this sparkling recording. Ryan Brown leads the troupe with a sure hand…Le Magnifique…[has] many pleasures and a catchy, well-constructed score that is well worth rediscovering—or discovering in the first place. © 2012 Read complete



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