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HARTKE: Greater Good (The)

Composer(s):Hartke, Stephen
Period(s) Contemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.669014-15
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Stephen Hartke’s The Greater Good was commissioned by Glimmerglass Opera, and is a strikingly original contribution to the operatic repertory. Based on an iconic short story by Maupassant set during the immediate aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, The Greater Good is notable for its sure-footed dramatic pacing and astute use of different techniques and subtle references to a variety of musical styles in order to portray the characters in a variety of moods and situations. This is the opera’s world premiere recording.


Review By David Denton,Naxos,July 2007

History has proved critics to be notoriously wrong in their judgement of music composed in their lifetime, but this new opera from Stephen Hartke is the most arresting stage work I have heard for many decades. On the surface The Greater Good is amusing, but in reality it is a sad reflection on humanity. It pictures a group of wealthy people escaping from the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war and now on their journey to England. They are horrified to find they are sharing the coach with the notorious prostitute, Boule de Suif. That distaste somewhat changes when they discover that only she had the good-sense to pack food for the journey, which she shares around. Stopping for an overnight stay at the inn, the German commandant belonging to the occupying army finds out that Boule



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