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André-Modeste Grétry: Guillanme Tell / Marc Laho, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Lionel Lhote, Liesbeth Devos. Claudio Scimone [DVD]

Notes & Reviews:

The legend of the Swiss national hero William Tell has not been a popular subject with opera composers. Lovers of music probably only remember Gioachino Rossini's Guillaume Tell considered one of his best works. If Rossini's masterpiece is the only William Tell title that is still in the repertoire, it is not, however, the only one that revolves around the famous archer's legend, having been preceded, thirty-eight years earlier, by the illustrious example written in 1791 by the Belgian composer André- Modeste Grétry for Paris's Comédie Italienne. Grétry's Guillaume Tell was revived in June 2013 at Liège's Opéra Royal de Wallonie to celebrate the bicentenary of the composer's death (1813). Gretry's Guillaume Tell was composed to a libretto by Michel-Jean Sedaine based on a drama by Antoine-Marie Lemierre. It is a rather short opera-comique in three acts opening with elements of Swiss colour - ranz de vaches and popular melodies - which give way, in the last two acts, to tensely dramatic writing, pervaded by Sturm und Drang traits; writing that does not always follow the traditional alternation between spoken parts and closed numbers, producing in spots a continuous musical discourse that seems to anticipate Beethoven and his Fidelio. Guillaume Tell is one of the operas that Grétry wrote to endorse - we do not know with how much conviction - the French Revolution's freedom ideals. The opera was staged at the Comédie Italienne on 9th April 1791, at a most turbulent and dramatic moment of confrontation among the various factions that had supported the Revolution, which would eventually result in the notorious Reign of Terror.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 87 min.
Region: 0
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): PCM Stereo,
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian


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Works Details

>André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (Composer) (1741 - 1813) : Andromaque, opera
  • Performers: Stefan Cifolelli; Patrick Delcour; Liesbeth Devos; Anne-Catherine Gillet; Roger Joakim; Natacha Kowalski; Marc Laho; Lionel Lhote
  • Conductor: Claudio Scimone
  • Ensemble: Chorus of the Opera Royal de Wallonie
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1780
  • Studio/Live: Live