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Bizet: Carmen Suite, L'Arlésienne Suites / Minkowski, Les Musiciens Du Louvre


Release Date: 04/29/2008 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 5130   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du LouvreLyon Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Minkowski moves into pole position with this fabulous new disc of familiar fare

"Marc Minkowski’s partnership with the Naïve label has got off to a rousing start with this magnificent Bizet album. When faced with performances as utterly persuasive as this, it does get one hankering yet again for more first-class Bizet works than we actually have, but grateful that we do at least have these and the few others.

The conductor is a great admirer of Sir Thomas Beecham in this repertoire and, separated as they are by era and nationality, the Englishman’s spirit is alive and well here. Minkowski has a ball with these suites, relishing their rich sonorities and glorious melodies, while at the same time
Read more investing them with a serious-minded sensitivity. The L’Arlésienne suites have rarely sounded so genuinely moving. Les Musiciens du Louvre are alert to Minkowski’s every nuance and the Lyon Opera Chorus’s contribution comes as an exuberant climax.

In the Carmen suite, as elsewhere, Minkowski fully indulges the great melodic sweeps without overdoing things. So one feels satisfed but never bloated.

The whole album is a real treat."

-- Gramophone [6/2008]


There are many very good recordings of this music, but few truly great ones, and even fewer that make the music sound new (and old--more on that anon). This certainly is one of them, the finest disc of Carmen and L'Arlésienne suites since Markevitch with the Lamoureux Orchestra. Marc Minkowski offers the standard L'Arlésienne suites, plus a selection of the original incidental music shorn of the tiny bits of fragmentary fluff that make hearing the complete score such a frustrating experience. This permits the most complete appreciation of Bizet's genius thus far available on disc in this particular work. The Carmen music includes the prelude and standard entr'actes, with a reprise of the prelude to round off the proceedings. It's all so intelligent and enjoyable for home listening.

Better still, using period-ish instruments, Minkowski achieves a truly "French" sound, perhaps for the first time on disc since the 1950s or '60s. The compact ensemble sonority, pert winds, bright brass, and slightly wiry strings restore to the music so much of its innate vividness. Listen to the high-kicking brass in the Carmen Prelude, or the rhythmic "ping" that Minkowski brings to the Carillon in L'Arlésienne. Then there's the wonderfully touching but never sticky Adagietto and a closing Farandole that brings a genuine physical thrill to the program's conclusion (and you get to hear the music's first version, with voices, from Bizet's theatrical score). Perfectly natural sonics present the whole program with tactile immediacy... You're going to love this.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Carmen: Suite no 1 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; France 
Length: 12 Minutes 25 Secs. 
2.
L'arlésienne: Suite no 1 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Length: 17 Minutes 29 Secs. 
3.
L'arlésienne: no 8, Mélodrame no 1 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Length: 0 Minutes 37 Secs. 
4.
L'arlésienne: no 11, Wordless chorus by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Chorus,  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Length: 0 Minutes 44 Secs. 
5.
L'arlésienne: no 12, Mélodrame no 4 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Length: 0 Minutes 54 Secs. 
6.
L'arlésienne: no 13, Mélodrame no 5 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 38 Secs. 
7.
L'arlésienne: no 22, Entr'acte by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
8.
L'arlésienne: no 23, Chorus no 1 "March of the Kings" by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Chorus,  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
9.
L'arlésienne: Suite no 2 by Georges Bizet
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Length: 15 Minutes 8 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Carmen: Entr'acte 3
L'arlésienne: Suite no 1: II. Minuet. Allegro giocoso (minuetto)
L'arlésienne: Suite no 2: IV. Farandole

Sound Samples

Carmen: Prelude
Carmen: Entracte I
Carmen: Entracte II
Carmen: Entracte III
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1: I. Prelude
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1: II. Minuetto
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1: III. Adagietto
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1: IV. Carillon
L'arlesienne: Act II: Entr'acte - Scene 2: La Cuisin de Castelet Carillon
L'arlesienne: Act II: Introduction and Melodrama: Der zweite Akt
L'arlesienne: Act II: Melodrama: Du willst er mir nicht sagen
L'arlesienne: Act II: Wiegenlied and Melodrama: Wie glucklich so zu schlafen
L'arlesienne: Act III: Introduction, Melodram and Finale: Im dritten Akt
L'arlesienne: Act III: Entr'acte - Farandole
L'arlesienne: Act III: Entr'acte - Le bon matin
L'arlesienne: Act III: Melodrama, Chorus and Finale: Der letzte Akt von Alphonse Daudets Theaterstuck
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 (arr. E. Guirand for orchestra): I. Pastorale
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 (arr. E. Guirand for orchestra): II. Intermezzo
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 (arr. E. Guirand for orchestra): III. Minuetto
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 (arr. E. Guirand for orchestra): IV. Farandole

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 This recording is a hoot! May 19, 2012 By David J Hatmaker (Harrisonburg, VA) See All My Reviews "Bizet's L'arlesienne will never be the same again. Forget the tepid performances you remember from too many pops concerts; this recording takes you into the world of French music hall that makes Offenbach sound like Bach. If I were 20 and had a few francs, I'd head off to Arles with this music in my head and the girls of Arles on my mind." Report Abuse
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