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Gounod: Romeo et Juliette / Slatkin, Domingo, Swenson

Release Date: 04/16/1996 
Label:  Rca Victor Red Seal Catalog #: 68440   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Charles Gounod
Performer:  Ruth Ann SwensonSarah WalkerSusan GrahamPlacido Domingo,   ... 
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony OrchestraBavarian Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 36 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Following the sensational popularity of Faust, Gounod was keen to enjoy a similar success, and believed Shakespeare’s play would provide a suitable vehicle. He was right, although Roméo et Juliette is somewhat uneven, mainly because Gounod was prepared to bow to the demands of conventional French grand opera: for example, there is an invented trouser role and a ballet with other extensive additions to Act IV that are – perhaps happily – omitted here. Nevertheless, the libretto provided Gounod with opportunities to compose some of his most effective dramatic music. In this enjoyable recording, the grand set pieces, such as the Capulet’s ball, are vividly evoked, with strong support from the chorus, and Slatkin largely manages to avoid Read more indulging Gounod’s tendency to grandiloquence and religiosity. More impressive are the intimate passages, such as the scene in Juliet’s garden and the lovers’ duets in Act IV – here, Slatkin brings out the grace and melodiousness of Gounod’s music. As the star-cross’d lovers, Domingo and Swenson sing with conviction and lyricism, although hardly with great youthfulness; and elsewhere Kurt Ollmann is a robust Mercutio and Alastair Miles makes an imposing Friar Laurence.

Performance: 4 (out of 5), Sound: 4 (out of 5)

-- William Humphreys-Jones, BBC Music Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Ruth Ann Swenson (Soprano), Sarah Walker (Mezzo Soprano), Susan Graham (Soprano),
Placido Domingo (Tenor), Toby Spence (Tenor), Kurt Ollmann (Baritone),
Christopher Maltman (Baritone), Alain Vernhes (Baritone), Alastair Miles (Bass),
Eric Freulon (Baritone), David Pittman-Jennings (Bass Baritone), Dankwart Siegele (Baritone),
Paul Charles Clarke (Tenor)
Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; France 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio Studio no 1, Munich 
Length: 155 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Selection recorded November 29-December 10, 1995. 

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