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Massenet: Amoureuse, Opera Arias, Etc / Bonynge, Illing


Release Date: 06/05/2007 
Label:  Melba   Catalog #: 301106   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund IllingJoanne GoodmanElizabeth StannardRosemary Gunn
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MASSENET Arias Rosamund Illing (sop); Richard Bonynge, cond; Australian Op and Ballet O MELBA 301106 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 75:39 Text and Translation)


Saint Thérèse Prie. Amoureuse. La grand’ tante: Je vais bientôt quitter. Marie Magdeleine: O mes soeurs. Eve: O nuit. Read more class="ARIAL12bi"> La vierge: O mon fils; Rêve infini. Hérodiade: Il est doux, il est bon. Le Cid: Plus de tourments; Pleurex mes yeux. Sapho: Ce que j’appelle beau; Ah! Vous avez parlé; Demain, je partirai; Vais-je rester ici? Grisélidis: Loÿs! Loÿs! Chérubin: Vous parlez de peril. Ariane: Avec tes compagnes guerrières; Je comprends . . . un héros! Un roi; Ils mentaient! A quoi bon


What a pleasure this disc is. Much of this repertoire is rarely heard, all of it is exquisitely beautiful. It is true that Massenet’s emotional palette is somewhat limited—but less so than one would believe from reading his critics. If a strong case is to be made for his music, this production from the Australian company Melba is the way to do it. Superb performances by a singer and conductor who understand the idiom, along with thoughtful and extensive notes by Rodney Milnes and Graham Johnson, and complete texts and translations, given with a dramatic context being set as well.


Milnes, in his essay, nails the “Massenet problem.” For those people for whom art music is supposed to avoid sentiment, only hint at eroticism, and above all be of serious high purpose, Massenet is a challenge. Milnes quotes the 1954 Grove’s Dictionary as saying that Massenet’s operas are appropriate only for a public “which regards music as an agreeable after-dinner entertainment.” Milnes adds, wonderfully, that this “in turn probably says more about the British than it does about Massenet.”


Most Fanfare readers already know if they respond to Massenet’s music. If you do, this disc is essential. There are a few reasonably well-known arias here, but many that you won’t know unless you’re a Massenet scholar or specialist collector. Rosamund Illing has a lovely lyric soprano voice, capable of opening up with raw power at climaxes and also of floating some lovely soft high tones. She doesn’t have a wide range of vocal colors at her disposal, and the voice is not a plush one. (She is Australian, but one could be forgiven for thinking her French from the timbre.) She gets inside this music and sings it with power and conviction. She floats a lovely B? on the final note of “Plus de tourments” from Le Cid , and her dramatic outburst concluding one of the Sapho arias (“Ah! Vous avez parlé”) is positively chilling. The Sapho arias are a major find here. We get four great scenes for soprano, covering perhaps the widest emotional range of everything here, and Illing sings them magnificently.


Bonynge has always had a connection with Massenet’s music, and he conducts effectively and lovingly throughout. I fear his influence a bit on Illing, whose diction with its soft-pedaled consonants, reminds one of Bonynge’s major project—Joan Sutherland. But this is a very insignificant flaw in a very beautiful disc.


I listened only in two-channel stereo, and the sound was very rich and naturally balanced. The voice occasionally disappeared for very brief moments into the orchestral texture, just like it would in a concert hall setting. Some might find it a bit swimmy and wish for more focus on the soprano, but I was not put off at all. Very enthusiastically recommended.


FANFARE: Henry Fogel


This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
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Works on This Recording

1.
Marie-Magdeleine: O mes soeurs by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Language: French 
2.
Eve: O nuit by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: French 
3.
La Vierge: O mon fils by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1877 - 1878). 
4.
La Vierge: Rêve infini by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 5 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1877 - 1878). 
5.
Hérodiade: Il est doux, il est bon by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: French 
6.
Le Cid: Alleluia "Plus de tourmants" by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: French 
7.
Le Cid: Pleurez, mes yeux! by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 5 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: French 
8.
Sapho: Ce que j'appelle beau by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 2 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1897 - 1909). 
9.
Sapho: Ah, vous avez parle by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1897 - 1909). 
10.
Sapho: Solitude-demain, je partirai by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 5 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1897 - 1909). 
11.
Chérubin: Vous parlez de pèril by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: French 
12.
Ariane: Avec tes compagnes guerrieres by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 3 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: French 
13.
Sapho: Vais-je rester ici?..Adieu, m'ami by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 4 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Composition written: France (1898).
Composition revised: France (1909). 
14.
Grisélidis: Loÿs! Loÿs! by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: French 
15.
Ariane: Je comprends...un héros! Un roi! by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Rosamund Illing (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 4 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: French 
16.
Ariane: Ils mentaient! à quoi bon?..Durez, serments nouveaux by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Joanne Goodman (Mezzo Soprano), Elizabeth Stannard (Soprano), Rosamund Illing (Soprano),
Rosemary Gunn (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Bonynge
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1998 
Venue:  ABC Studio 200, E. Goosens Hall, Sydney 
Length: 6 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: French 

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