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Massenet: Esclarmonde / Joan Sutherland, Jaume Aragall, Huguette Tourangeau

Album Summary

>Massenet, Jules : Esclarmonde, opera in 4 acts
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"If your belief can be suspended that much and you allow yourself to bask in it, this is one of opera's greatest guilty pleasures. And the duets are as stunning as anything in Manon or Werther. This performance is ravishing. In addition to the spectacular Sutherland, the under-recorded Catalan tenor Giacomo Aragall uses his attractive voice to great effect, baritone Louis Quilico is a proper menace as the exorcising Bishop, and Clifford Grant intones importantly as Esclarmonde's father. Huguette Tourangeau's weird mezzo is on display as Esclarmonde's sister. Richard Bonynge leads a luxuriant performance." -ClassicsToday

Joan Sutherland (Esclarmonde), Giacomo Aragall (Roland), Huguette Tourangeau (Parséis), Clifford Grant (Emperor Phorcas), Louis Quilico (L'Evèque de Blois), Ryland Davies (Enéas), Robert Lloyd (Cléomer), Ian Caley (A Saracen Envoy), Graham Clark (A Byzantine Herald)
The National Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Bonynge

Penguin Guide
Sutherland's performance of the central role of Esclarmonde is in its way was powerful as it is in Puccini's last opera. Aragall proves an excellent tenor, sweet of tone and intelligent... Bonynge draws passionate singing and playing from the chorus and orchestra, and the recording has both atmosphere and spectacle

Gramophone Magazine
Bonynge, in his best form ever, procures a full-blooded performance from a wellchosen cast, aided by a suitably vivid recording that shows no sign at all of its age... Sutherland's words are not easy to understand, even though her enunciation is better than sometimes; but the precision, brilliance and sweetness other voice in the prominently featured upper register (rather less steady lower down) compensates for much.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Kingsway Hall, London (07/02/1975-07/15/1975).


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Works Details

>Massenet, Jules : Esclarmonde, opera in 4 acts
  • Performer: Clifford Grant (Bass)
  • Conductor: Richard Bonynge
  • Ensemble: National Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Kingsway Hall, London (07/02/1975-07/15/1975)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta