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Bizet: Les Pecheurs de Perles / Bloch, Lille National Orchestra

Release Date: 05/04/2018 
Label:  Pentatone   Catalog #: 5186685  
Composer:  Georges Bizet
Performer:  Florian SempeyCyrille DuboisJulie FuchsLuc Bertin-hugault
Conductor:  Alexandre Bloch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lille National OrchestraLes Cris de Paris
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Les Pêcheurs de perles is best known for its glorious duet, but Georges Bizet’s opera has much more to offer. This live recording more than ever brings out the brilliance of this oriental story about love, duty and friendship. In the last 150 years, Bizet’s piece has mainly been heard in editions that stray from the composer’s original composition. This album – on the contrary - offers the first recording in history of the 1863 premiere version, reconstructed and published by Bärenreiter in 2015. Les Pêcheurs de perles contains a quintessentially French blend of lyricism, exoticism and drama, and the four soloists (Julie Fuchs as Leïla, Cyrille
Read more Dubois as Nadir, Florian Sempey as Zurga and Luc Bertin-Hugault as Nourabad) belong to today’s best performers for this specialist repertoire. Their vocal excellence is matched by the choral contributions of Les Cris de Paris. The rich sound palette of Les Pêcheurs is fully brought to life by the inspired playing of the Orchestre National de Lille under the baton of its new Music Director Alexandre Bloch.



Dubois is distinctly French in the timbre of his voice and his singing style, and Fuchs is lyrical when required and her coloratura is formidable. The vocal honors really belong to the chorus, Les Cris de Paris. Here’s committed singing that reminds us that Bizet’s story is not just about passion and jealousy but also about a community clinging to the shoreline in search of a perilous and uncertain livelihood.

– BBC Music Magazine

Bloch conducts the Orchestre National de Lille in a vivid account of the score, with muscular playing driving the faster music (a terrific storm) and the exotic dance numbers. But it’s the casting of the central trio of characters where this recording triumphs, with no grit in the musical oyster. Dubois is an outstanding Nadir, and Fuchs’s Leïla is no less delectable. Sempey is a superb Zurga.

– Gramophone Read less

Works on This Recording

Les pęcheurs de perles by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Florian Sempey (Baritone), Cyrille Dubois (Tenor), Julie Fuchs (Soprano),
Luc Bertin-hugault (Bass)
Conductor:  Alexandre Bloch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lille National Orchestra,  Les Cris de Paris
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1863; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great New Recording of Bizet’s “Pearl Fishers” April 29, 2018 By Art Music Lady See All My Reviews "Conductor Alexandre Bloch was extremely fortunate to have a first-rate cast to work with. Soprano Julie Fuchs (Leïla) has an absolutely gorgeous voice, touching and sensuous without the occasional odd flutter one heard in Cotrubas’ singing. French baritone Florian Sempey (Zurga) has a slightly “woolly” voice, with the kind of French vibrato that has all but died out in modern singers (but was much in vogue in that country for more than a century), but he is basically a good, solid singer with wonderful expressive qualities. The real surprise and delight of this recording, however, is tenor Cyrille Dubois, who I was completely unfamiliar with. Dubois possesses a light, beautiful voice of the sort that recalls such great French-trained tenors of the past as Louis Cazette or Joseph Rogstschewsky, names probably unfamiliar to any but hardcore vocal record collectors. It is even a lovelier voice than that of Alain Vanzo, the Nadir of the Prêtre recording, and in several places—particularly in the famous duet “Au fond du temple saint”—he sings in a melting half- voice that would be the envy of many a tenor today. This is no small achievement. In addition, despite the concert setting, everyone gives their all, as if they were performing the opera in costume during a staged performance, but without the constant interruptions for applause that often afflict such live performances. --Lynn Rene Bayley, see my complete review at https://artmusiclounge.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/great-new-recording-of-bizets-pearl-fishers/" Report Abuse
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