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Debussy: Pelleas et Melisande / Karajan, Stade, Stilwell, Berlin Philharmonic

Release Date: 01/20/2017 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 559210   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude Debussy
Performer:  Nadine DenizePascal ThomasRichard StilwellFrederica Von Stade,   ... 
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraBerlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
Number of Discs: 3 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Note: The below review was published following a previous CD release of this recording.

The payoff to Herbert von Karajan’s relentless pursuit of ensemble perfection and beauty of sound can be heard in the playing of the Berlin Philharmonic on this recording: by 1978, when it was made, they were indisputably the most polished and flexible orchestra in Europe, and one of the few orchestras anywhere (including France) capable of playing French music with real authority. Fittingly, the orchestra is very much at the center of this account of Debussy’s uniquely beautiful opera, magnificently projecting the mysterious, darkly translucent world of its fatally entangled characters. The cast, led by two Americans – Richard Stilwell as
Read more Pelléas and the incomparable Frederica von Stade as Mélisande – and featuring a Belgian (José van Dam) as Golaud and an Italian (Ruggero Raimondi) as Arkel, is a superb one, not least because those principals who are not French are nonetheless Francophones, and sing with excellent diction and an authentic delivery. Karajan’s pacing of the drama, his skill at eliciting just the right intensity from the orchestra, his surpassing gentleness with the singers (balances are superb and every word comes through clearly), and the overall beauty of the orchestral playing make this not only the finest account of Pelléas et Mélisande yet recorded, but one of the most treasurable opera recordings ever, fully worthy of EMI’s “Great Recordings of the Century” designation. – Ted Libbey, author of The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection. Read less

Works on This Recording

Pelléas et Mélisande by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Nadine Denize (Mezzo Soprano), Pascal Thomas (Bass), Richard Stilwell (Baritone),
Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano), José van Dam (Bass Baritone), Ruggero Raimondi (Bass),
Christine Barbaux (Soprano)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1893-1902; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1978 
Venue:  Philharmonic Hall, Berlin, West Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 No libretto included July 28, 2020 By Michael S. (Boston, MA) See All My Reviews "I ordered this and just received it. There is no libretto. The booklet contains a synopsis but no libretto. This means I will need to find a libretto somewhere before I can listen to it." Report Abuse
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