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Poulenc: Dialogues de Carmélites / Matthews, Polaski, Brunner, Breedt

Album Summary

>Poulenc, Francis : Dialogues des Carmelites, opera, FP 159
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Poulenc's opera premiered at the Milan Scala on January 26, 1957 (in Italian). The work is currently experiencing a renaissance in the most important opera houses of the world. The theme that holds this opera together is that of fear: the story takes place during the French Revolution.

Oehms Classics now presents a live recording of the celebrated production from the Theater an der Wien. To optimize the results for listeners at home, this recording is a stylistically perfect combination of performances from 2008 and 2011.

BBC Music Magazine
The most successful singers are mezzo-soprano Michelle Breedt who brings the right tone of sympathy to the role of Mere Marie, and soprano Hendricke van Kerckhove whose Soeur Contsnace is delightfully scatty, though also wise beyond her years...The Viennese ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra plays with spirit, even if the string section lacks that essentially French bite and implacability.

International Record Review
The finest singing in this performance comes from its protagonist. Sally Matthews's vocal command exceeds that of any Blanche currently on CD (even EMI's legendary Denise Duval). Her lyric soprano takes on an exciting edge in Blanche's dramatic outbursts, but Matthews also boasts luminous floated pianissimos...[Michelle Breedt] certainly possesses the most beautiful voice of any recorded Marie.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
Breedt's sturdy Mere Marie is an asset. Kerckhova is a charming, exuberant Soeur Constance. There is delicate grace and courage to the Mme Lidoine of Brunner. The male contingent of the cast is quite able, with a particularly strong Marquis and Chevalier from Jean- Philippe Lafont and Yann Beuron. The celebrated final scene of the opera glows with intensity and drama under the ministrations of De Billy. By subduing the chorus to a bare minimum the diminution of the nuns' singing is very clear. It packs quite a wallop.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Theater an der Wien (01/2008/04/2011).


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Works Details

>Poulenc, Francis : Dialogues des Carmélites, opera, FP 159
  • Performers: Michelle Breedt (Mezzo Soprano); Jean-Philippe LaFont (Baritone); Christa Ratzenböck (Voice); Yann Beuron (Tenor); Heidi Brunner (Voice); Sally Matthews (Soprano); Deborah Polaski (Soprano); Hendrickje Van Kerckhove (Voice); Matjaz Robavs (Baritone); Nenad Marinkovic (Voice); Magdalena Hofmann (Mezzo Soprano); Dominik Koninger (Voice); Craig Smith (Piano); Erik Arman (Voice); Jurgen Sacher (Voice)
  • Conductor: Bertrand De Billy
  • Ensemble: Arnold Schoenberg Choir
  • Running Time: 3 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1953-1956