Barber: Vanessa / Bell, Montvidas, Verrez, Hrusa, London Philharmonic

Release Date: 6/21/2019
Label: Opus Arte
Catalog Number: OA 1289D
Composer: Samuel Barber
Number of Discs: 1
Length: 140 Minutes

Physical Format:

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Abandoned by her lover Anatol, Vanessa retreats from the world, waiting and hoping with only her mother and her niece Erika for company. But when, 20 years later, Anatol’s handsome young son arrives unexpectedly, he shatters the calm of this shuttered household of women. Past and present love collides, and the aftershocks threaten to destroy them all. Samuel Barber’s Pulitzer Prize-winning first opera boasts one of the 20th century’s most beautiful scores. Poised constantly on the edge of song, Vanessa unfolds in generous swathes of melody, rich in filmic strings and soaring brass, with echoes of Puccini, Berg and Strauss. It climaxes in a final quintet of Mozartean poignancy – one of the great ensembles of the contemporary repertoire.



Warner’s handsome and perceptive staging of Barber’s Vanessa has probably done more to silence the work’s naysayers than any in recent memory. Thanks to Warner’s perception and motivation this excellent cast really deliver. Shadowy, opulent, effulgent – Barber’s Vanessa is the opera that bridges Hollywood and the Broadway stage.

– Gramophone
Works on This Recording
1. Vanessa, Op. 32 by Samuel Barber
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1957 ; USA
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