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Claude Debussy: The Fall of the House of Usher; The Devil in the Belfry; "The Edgar Allan Poe Operas" / William Dazeley, baritone. Eugene Villanueva, baritone. Virgil Hartinger, tenor. Lin Lin Fan, soprano. Michael Dries, bass

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : La chûte de la maison Usher, opera, L. 112 (incomplete)
>Debussy, Claude : Le Diable dans le beffroi, conte musical, L. 101 (sketches)
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Claude Debussy is admired as a colour artist and alchemist of sound. Debussy's opera Pelléas et Mélisande premičred in 1902 and is regarded as a very special masterpiece, albeit a solitary one. The composer's relationship with opera however was not as distanced as one could suppose from focusing on this single work which is in fact not an isolated component within the artist's oeuvre. Plans existed for further operatic projects and Debussy devoted himself intensely to two operas based on texts by Edgar Allen Poe during the last few years of his life which were dominated by ill health. He continued working on "La Chute de la Maison Usher" (The Fall of the House of Usher) until shortly before his death and was distraught at not being able to complete this composition. "Le Diable dans le Beffroi" (The Devil in the Belfry) has only survived in sketch form. The English musicologist Robert Orledge (*1948), a renowned expert within the field of French music at the beginning of the twentieth century, reconstructed both operas with great sensitivity to Debussy's compositional style, augmenting missing passages. Debussy had promised the New York Metropolitan Opera the premiere of the Poe operas, apparently still believing that he would still complete them both. The composer received contractual confirmation that both works would only be performed consecutively on the same evening, meaning that the gloomy melancholy of one work would serve as a counterweight to the mocking humour of the other. The operas in their complete form as reconstructed by Robert Orledge have never been heard within the context intended by the composer. The production featuring the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester is therefore a world premičre: according to Debussy's wishes, the two operas would have been performed at the New York Metropolitan Opera in this exact juxtaposition.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Stadthalle Göttingen, Germany (12/10/2013/12/11/2013).



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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : La chûte de la maison Usher, opera, L. 112 (incomplete)
  • Conductor: Christoph-Mathia Mueller
  • Ensemble: Göttinger Symphonie Orchester
  • Running Time: 1 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1908-1917

>Debussy, Claude : Le Diable dans le beffroi, conte musical, L. 101 (sketches)
  • Conductor: Christoph-Mathia Mueller
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1902-1911