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Prokofiev: L'Amour des 3 Oranges / Kent Nagano, Lyon Opera

Release Date: 08/29/2006 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 58694   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Jules BastinGabriel BacquierDidier HenryJean-Luc Viala,   ... 
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera OrchestraLyon Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 42 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A rediscovered masterpiece? Hardly. The music lacks the melodic invention of Prokofiev's mature output, and (perhaps more surprising) the conversational vocal lines are often overlaid on rhythmically static accompaniments. Then, too, the man who composed such highly characterized music for Polina (in The Gambler) and Natasha (in War and Peace) seems baffled by his title character here: the real energy of the opera comes from the submerged, homoerotic interaction between her two lovers, and in the final scene, her music seems like an interruption. But for all its flaws, it's far from negligible: there are hints of specific works to come (premonitions of the First Violin Concerto crop up, for instance, in Stenio's long speech in the third Read more scene) and, more generally, the opera foreshadows Prokofiev's characteristic blend of honey and acid (even though the dark side is consistently more interesting). Thus, for instance, in the dreamy, almost Delian music at the end of scene 1, you can sense (as you never can in Delius) that the dream is hovering on the edge of hallucination. And the opera's power does increase noticeably as the tension between the two men mounts: there's a scorching moment of recognition at the beginning of the fourth scene, and the final confrontation is riveting. The performance is compelling, and except for the unnatural perspective on Maddalena's contributions in the last scene, the sound is quite good.

-- Peter J. Rabinowitz, FANFARE [5/1990]

...Cheating ever so slightly in a list of five [Prokofiev recordings] favorites,...Kent Nagano makes the cut with his lively Lyon National Opera recording of the original French version on Virgin Classics.

-- James R. Oestreich, The New York Times [7/7/2003]

This recording won "Gramophone" Magazine's Record of the Year Award for 1990. Read less

Works on This Recording

Love for Three Oranges, Op. 33 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Jules Bastin (Bass), Gabriel Bacquier (Baritone), Didier Henry (Baritone),
Jean-Luc Viala (Tenor), Michele Lagrange (Soprano), Georges Gautier (Tenor),
Hélène Parraguin (Mezzo Soprano), Vincent le Texier (Bass Baritone), Gregory Reinhart (Bass),
Béatrice Uria-Monzon (Mezzo Soprano), Catherine Dubosc (Soprano), Consuelo Caroli (Mezzo Soprano),
Brigitte Fournier (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; USA 
Venue:  Maurice Ravel Auditorium, Lyon, France 
Length: 101 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: This work was recorded by Radio France from March, 30 to April, 7, 1989.
Maurice Ravel Auditorium, Lyon, France (03/30/1989 - 04/07/1989) 

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