Notes & Reviews:
World premiere recording of Gounod's Polyeucte!
American Record Guide, September/October 2013
Among Gounod's many operas Polyeucte was his favorite. Polyeucte is based on a play by Pierre Corneille (1642). Gounod had a strong Christian religious streak in him and it often appeared in his music. Here the entire opera is a kind of religious paean, concerning the love, trials, and martyrdom (via lions) of soon to be Saint Polyeucte (and his lover Pauline too). One keeps expecting the music to burst into full flower. The August 2004 performances at Martina Franca make a strong case for the opera. Casciarri is a major voice, stentorian pealing and appealing. Vezzu is a good match, a softer version of Casciarri. Grassi is making quite a career in unusual baritone repertoire, and we hear why: he is sturdy, intense, and communicative. He's a tenor! Nicola Amodio. His is a very androgynous sound, quite beautiful. They do a great job for Benzi.
Personnel: Vincenzo Taormina, Tiziana Portoghese, Nicola Amodio, Luca Grassi, Fernando Blanco, Nadia Vezzú, Pietro Naviglio, Giorgio Casciarri, Emil Zhelez (vocals).
Recording information: Martina Franca, Italy (08/2004).
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Works DetailsGounod, Charles : Polyeucte
- Conductor: Manlio Benzi
- Ensemble: Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia
- Running Time: 4 min. 5 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1869-1878