This new Erato recording of the complete, uncut score of Les Troyens is drawn from two concert performances that took place over the Easter weekend in April 2017 in the city of Strasbourg in eastern France. A magnificent cast of singers, predominantly Francophone, assembled under the baton of John Nelson, an acknowledged master of Berlioz’s music who has conducted Les Troyens more frequently than anyone else over a period of more than 40 years; he made his name with the piece when he led performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1974 and enjoyed great acclaim for a production at the FrankfurtRead more Opera shortly before the Strasbourg concerts.
Berlioz’s epic opera has rarely been given such luxury treatment. Mr. Nelson, a “Troyens” veteran many times over, expertly handles the unwieldy score with help from starry singers like Joyce DiDonato and Michael Spyres.
– New York Times
Nelson’s cast is simply to die for. Marie-Nicole Lemieux captures all the wildness and unhinged desperation of Cassandre, her burnt caramel contralto utterly compelling. Énée is thrillingly sung by Michael Spyres. DiDonato’s vehement response to Énée’s desertion reveals her as a great tragedienne. In short this is a peach of a recording.
For DiDonato, Didon marks a watershed: she has done nothing finer on disc...Even more arrestingly, Spyres surpasses the fabled Jon Vickers as Enée (Aeneas), with his lighter, higher, more “wieldy” tenor...Lemieux’s Cassandre is in the Crespin class, the finest on any complete recording. A triumph.
Les troyensby Hector Berlioz Performer:
Hanna Hipp (Mezzo Soprano),
Cyrille Dubois (Tenor),
Frédéric Caton (Bass),
Jérôme Varnier (Bass),
Joyce DiDonato (Mezzo Soprano),
Stèphane Degout (Baritone),
Agnieszka Slawinska (Soprano),
Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto),
Richard Rittelmann (Baritone),
Michael Spyres (Tenor),
Bertrand Grunenwald (Bass),
Philippe Sly (Bass),
Jean Teitgen (Bass)
Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra,
Rhine Opera Chorus,
Strasbourg Philharmonic Chorus
Period: Romantic Written: 1856-1858; France
Average Customer Review: ( 2 Customer Reviews )
Epic DramaFebruary 4, 2019By Joseph Erdeljac (West Chester, PA)See All My Reviews"Berlioz' Troyens is one of the most expansive and expressive works in the repertoire. This recording is excellent in its casting and recorded sound. The ensemble is cleanly and emotionally led by John Nelson and the cast is superb. There are many notable sections of instrumental as well as vocal performance. One outstanding section is Act IV in particular. Although the length is daunting the music makes the time fly by with one amazing section after another."Report Abuse
Fine Performance of French ClassicJanuary 31, 2018By J. Tatnall (West Grove, PA)See All My Reviews"From the beginning of act 1, this performance caught my ear and swept me along. It is well sung, well played, and well recorded. The cast is strong with no weak links. Nelson's experience with Berlioz, and this score in particular, ensures a cohesive performance, more lyrical than some. This is now my go to Troyens."Report Abuse