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Massenet: Don Quichotte, opera in 5 acts / Valery Gergiev - Mariinsky

Album Summary

>Massenet, Jules : Don Quichotte, opera in 5 acts
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto is one of the most sought-after interpreters of French, Italian and Russian repertoire. Here he joins Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra for a sumptuous recording of Massenet's final great opera, Don Quichotte. Gergiev is no stranger to conducting Massenet, having recorded an outstanding performance of Hérodiade in 1995 with Renée Fleming and Placido Domingo. Don Quichotte, Massenet's comédie-héroïque, is a tale of heroism, adventure and unrequited love. The plot relates only indirectly to the great novel by Cervantes, more likely referring to the play Le chevalier de la longue figure by the poet Jacques Le Lorrain. Massenet, nearing the end of his career, probably personally identified with the character of Don Quichotte. He fell in love with the mezzo-soprano Lucy Arbell, who played Dulcinée in the first performance of the work.

"Furlanetto's basso cantante makes a fine compromise [between Ghiaurov and van Dam] - rich but smooth in fluent French - and Valery Gergiev whips up the score more vigorously than either predecessor...Gergiev has excellent surround sound, and this new version comes recommended." -BBC Music Magazine

"[Furlanetto] is moving in Quichotte’s prayer and death scene. Gergiev surprises with his sensitive handling of Massenet’s delicately perfumed idiom, relishing the atmosphere of his Spanish pastiche." -The Sunday Times

"[Furlanetto] is quite astonishingly moving in it, as is Andrei Serov as Sancho Pança. The rest of it is more equivocal. Gergiev is at his best when the music is most tender, but goes hell-for-leather at the fiesta scenes, which work better when less pressured." -The Guardian

Gramophone Magazine, May 2012
[Furlanetto's] dark round tone is perfect for the role. He can't resist uttering his trademark sob now and then but much can be forgiven for his beautiful legato...Furlanetto's combination of sadness and dignity is most affecting...Anna Kiknadze finds heart as well as frivolity in Dulcinee's music. Gergiev and his chorus and orchestra are on fine form and the recorded sound, in the experienced hands of James Mallinson, is excellent.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
This is a composite of several non-staged performances, recorded last year, by the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers and the Mariinsky Orchestra led with real flair by Gergiev, who has a keen appreciation of the much maligned Massenet and would appear to have some interest in French operas of this type. If the Russian singers aren't on Furlanetto's level, they tackle their parts with great spirit and sound in Slavic French. There are two fine CD sets with Ghiaurov and Van Dam, but this recording is worth owning for Furlanetto's work alone. French-English libretto.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, R (05/2011).


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Works Details

>Massenet, Jules : Don Quichotte, opera in 5 acts
  • Performers: Andrei Bondarenko (Voice); Carlos D'onofrio (Voice); Denis Fedorenko (Voice); Ferruccio Furlanetto (Bass); Didier Jouanny (Voice); Anna Kiknadze (Mezzo Soprano); Dmitry Koleushko (Voice); Yulia Matochkina (Voice); Andrei Serov (Bass Baritone); Eleonora Vindau (Voice); Sergei Zamarez (Voice)
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Ensemble: Mariinsky Theatre Opera Orchestra
  • Notes: Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia (05/27/2011-05/29/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta