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Poulenc: Dialogues Des Carmelites / Muti, Schellenberger

Poulenc / Robertson / Schellenberger / Gietz
Release Date: 08/28/2007 
Label:  Tdk   Catalog #: OPDDC  
Composer:  Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Philippe FourcadeErnesto PanarielloGregory BonfattiGordon Gietz,   ... 
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala OrchestraMilan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

One of the pinnacles of Poulenc’s output, Dialogues des Carmélites is a supreme example of the composer’s ability to be simultaneously conventional and unconventional. This is the most earnest facet of Janus-Poulenc, producing music of heartfelt conviction for a drama exploring personal confusion amidst faith, and the response of the faithful to the ‘terror’ that followed the French Revolution. Fear is the leitmotif, crystallized in the panicky heroine Blanche, who joins an enclosed order to escape her anxieties, only to find herself in mortal danger from the Revolutionary authorities.

Robert Carsen’s production is effective in its simplicity, allowing the drama to speak for itself. Dagmar Schellenberger compellingly
Read more conveys Blanche’s journey from distress to acceptance, the confrontation with her brother being a masterly projection of outer defiance and inner disquiet. Anja Silja’s portrayal of the old Prioress is outstanding, with its disturbing transformation from serene wisdom to terrified, blasphemous, near-madness as death approaches. Barbara Dever is a thoroughly convincing, domineering Mother Marie, and Laura Aikin’s quietly irrepressible Constance is an ideal foil for Blanche’s turmoil. Rhine Opera’s 1999 production (ArtHaus Musik) also boasts a strong cast, but the newcomer has the benefit of Riccardo Muti and the La Scala orchestra in magnificent form, captured in magnificent sound. The DVD has no frills, but this hardly matters. Ultimately, it is the final scene, with its multiple executions, that makes or breaks a production of Dialogues. Carsen’s allegorical solution is both elegant and deeply moving.

-- Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine


Libretto by the composer based on the play by Georges Bernanos

Le Marquis de la Force - Christopher Robertson
Blanche, sa fille - Dagmar Schellenberger
Le Chevalier, son fils - Gordon Gietz
Madame de Croissy - Anja Silja
Madame Lidoine - Gwynne Geyer
Mère Marie de l'Incarnation - Barbara Dever
Sśur Constance de Saint Denis - Laura Aikin
Mère Jeanne - Annamaria Popescu
Sśur Mathilde - Sara Allegretta
L'aumônier - Mario Bolognesi
Officier - Giuseppe Altomare
Le premier commissaire - Gregory Bonfatti
Le deuxième commissaire - Ernesto Panariello
Le geôlier - Philippe Fourcade
Thierry - Danilo Serraiocco
Monsieur Javelinot - Francesco Musinu
Voix de femme - Sae Kyung Rim

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala
Riccardo Muti, conductor

Robert Carsen, stage director

Recorded at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 2004

Picture format: NTSC 16:9 widescreen
Sound formats: PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1
Running time: 149 mins
Region code: 0 (all)
Subtitle languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Booklet languages: English, French, German
No. of DVDs: 1
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Works on This Recording

Dialogues des carmélites by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Philippe Fourcade (Baritone), Ernesto Panariello (Baritone), Gregory Bonfatti (Tenor),
Gordon Gietz (Tenor), Giuseppe Altomare (Bass Baritone), Laura Aikin (Soprano),
Sara Allegretta (Soprano), Maria Popescu (Mezzo Soprano), Mario Bolognesi (Tenor),
Barbara Dever (Mezzo Soprano), Christopher Robertson (Bass), Anja Silja (Soprano),
Dagmar Schellenberger (Soprano), Danilo Serraiocco (Baritone), Francesco Musinu (Baritone)
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953-1956; France 
Date of Recording: 2004 
Venue:  Teatro La Scala, Milan, Italy 

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