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BARTOK, B.: Bluebeard's Castle [Opera] (Alsop)

Composer(s):Bartok, Bela
Artist(s)
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.660928
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
 
MP3
USD 6.99
 

 


A modern version of the old European folk-tale about the cruel, blue-bearded prince and his many disappearing wives, Bartók's oper Bluebeard's Castle is a metaphor for the impossibility of complete love between a man and a woman. A vast orchestra, one of Bartók's largest, supports the vocal lines, moving deftly from moments of chamber-music-like delicacy to massive thunderheads of sound that underline the characters' inner agony. No scene is more vividly portrayed, though, or more memorable, than the moment when Judith opens the fifth door to behold a vista looking out over all Blubeard's domains. One of the most spine-tingling moments in twentieth-century opera, a violentlydissonant wave of sound transfomrs, in an instant, to a massive C major chord in the full

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Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Marin Alsop has made a series of impressive recordings for Naxos, of which this is one of the finest yet, with gloriously rich sound, very well focused. The big climax when Judith opens the door on to Bluebeard’s vast kingdom is thrilling, a wonderfully weighty focus for the whole sequence of doors, a sequence which Alsop sustains masterfully. Gustáv Belácek has a Slavonic-sounding bass, firmly controlled, very apt for the role and well matched by the Judith of Andrea Meláth, an imaginative choice of soloist. A fine bargain alternative [to the EMI version].




Review By David Denton, Naxos,November 2007

Recorded shortly after Marin Alsop’s hugely acclaimed concert performance, her vivid picture of Duke Bluebeard’s gloomy death-ridden castle is captured in a recording of stunning quality and extreme dynamics. It was deemed incomprehensible and unperformable when Bartok submitted his first opera as an entry for a Budapest competition in 1911, and it had to wait eight years for its first performance. By then Europe was having to come terms with the Second Viennese School and was more prepared for a new era of composition. For Bartok, an intensely withdrawn man, that rejection proved so distressing that for some considerable time it caused a mental block in his creativity, and he was never again to write for the opera house. Today it finds many more performances in the

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