WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Prokofiev: L'Amour des 3 Oranges / Kent Nagano, Lyon Opera

Prokofiev / Nagano,Kent
Release Date: 07/12/2011 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 48210   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Jules BastinGabriel BacquierDidier HenryJean-Luc Viala,   ... 
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera OrchestraLyon Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
This title is currently unavailable.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

PROKOFIEV The Love for Three Oranges Kent Nagano, cond; Gabriel Bacquier ( King of Clubs ); Hélène Perraguin ( Princess Clarice ); Vincent le Texier ( Leander ); Jean-Luc Viala ( Prince ); Georges Gautier ( Truffaldino ); Gregory Reinhart ( Celio Read more class="ARIAL12">); Michèle Lagrange ( Fata Morgana ); Jules Bastin ( Cook ); Lyon Op O & Ch VIRGIN 58694 (2 CDs: 101:52)

This Love for Three Oranges , first released in 1989, uses the original French libretto, along with a largely French cast. It completely misses the iconoclasm of the Parisian avant-garde in the 1920s, however. Instead of Dadaism and wild spirits, we get an obsession with detail. We might as well be listening to Puccini, of all composers, for the way Nagano lovingly traces the permutations of each orchestral phrase. Clarity keeps it from becoming cumbersome, but there’s no disguising the fact that many tempo markings are discarded, harsh harmonies de-emphasized, and accents ignored.

Within this view of the opera, the cast is uniformly excellent. Each is good in his or her part, and enunciates the text in exemplary fashion. You really get the feeling that they live within the words; and that isn’t surprising, since the recording followed upon a successful revival of the work. If I had to single out individual singers for praise, however, I would point to Jean-Luc Viala’s lyrically persuasive Prince, and Gabriel Bacquier’s King. Granted, Bacquier was in his seventies at the time this recording was made, so it’s not surprising the top of his voice is pinched. But each line he sings is interpreted in a fashion that brings the King to life.

Good sound is provided, but only competent notes and a synopsis—no libretto with translation. That’s too bad, in an opera focusing so much on text.

My favorite performance of Love for Three Oranges is currently out of print. It features Dzhemal Dalgat leading the Moscow Radio Orchestra, with an exceptional cast that includes Vladimir Makhov (the Prince), Boris Dobrin (Leander), Ivan Budrin (Pantaloon), and Nina Polyakova (Fata Morgana). The violent exuberance of the score has never been better realized on record, in my opinion, though Gergiev/Kirov Theater (Philips 462913) comes in a decent second with less focus and a lesser cast. Hickox/Opera Australia (Chandos 10347, reviewed in Fanfare 29:6) is similar to Nagano in its attempt to banish the darker aspects of the opera. Still, Nagano is your only attempt to hear the work in the original French, and the cast is extremely good. Just be sure to listen to Gergiev, as well, to discover what Prokofiev really set out to achieve in this opera.

FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
reviewing this recording previously released as Virgin 58694
Read less

Works on This Recording

Love for Three Oranges, Op. 33 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Jules Bastin (Bass), Gabriel Bacquier (Baritone), Didier Henry (Baritone),
Jean-Luc Viala (Tenor), Michele Lagrange (Soprano), Georges Gautier (Tenor),
Hélène Parraguin (Mezzo Soprano), Vincent le Texier (Bass Baritone), Gregory Reinhart (Bass),
Béatrice Uria-Monzon (Mezzo Soprano), Catherine Dubosc (Soprano), Consuelo Caroli (Mezzo Soprano),
Brigitte Fournier (Soprano)
Conductor:  Kent Nagano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; USA 
Venue:  Maurice Ravel Auditorium, Lyon, France 
Length: 101 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: French 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title