This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
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
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
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)
Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,
Bavarian Radio Chorus
Written: 1867; France
Date of Recording: 1995
Venue: Bavarian Radio Studio no 1, Munich
Length: 155 Minutes 59 Secs.
Notes: Selection recorded November 29-December 10, 1995.
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