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Opera in English - Poulenc: The Carmelites / Daniel

Album Summary

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

Notes & Reviews:

Poulenc did something deeply unfashionable in the mid-1950s when he wrote 'Dialogues of the Carmelites' - in an era of modernism he created an opera that was dramatically coherent and musically intensely pleasurable. "It seems," he wrote, "that my Carmelites can only sing tonal music. You must forgive them." This is a powerful work, an almost disturbing experience, as heroic opera should be, and a must for anyone who loves the medium. Poulenc's score is incredibly complex and richly emotional, with audible elements of Mussorgsky, Debussy and Faure. This recording is taken from the critically acclaimed English National Opera staging. The Times wrote of the performances, "Daniel was able to brilliantly to capture the peace at the heart of the work and the final, absolute silence was mesmerizing."

Opera Magazine
Catrin Wyn-Davies acted Blanche most affectingly, unfailingly catching the contrasting facets of the character.

Gramophone Magazine
... Paul Daniel... draws intense, beautiful playing from his orchestra, helped by one of Chandos's most immediate, well aired recordings. The first third of the performance is commanded by Felicity Palmer's lacerating performance as the Old Prioress. This is a gift of a role for a mezzo of a certain age and Palmer makes the most of it as she conveys the old woman's seeming loss of faith and fear of death. Every word is filled with meaning and delivered with amazing power. As the new Prioress, Orla Boylan provides and admirable line; her final solo before the executions is most moving.



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Works Details

>Poulenc, Francis : Dialogues des Carmélites, opera, FP 159
  • Performers: Natalie Herman; Toby Stafford-Allen (Baritone); Susan Joyce (Voice); Judith Douglas (Voice); Lyn Cook (Voice); Sara McGuinness (Voice); David Stephenson (Bass); Jane Read (Voice); Claire Mitcher (Soprano); Peter Wedd (Tenor); Deborah Davison (Voice); Sarah Vocal] (Soprano); Roland Wood; Ashley Holland (Baritone); Felicity Palmer (Soprano); Christine Dix (Voice); Orla Boylan (Soprano); Jane Powell (Mezzo-soprano); Gary Coward; Anne-Marie Gibbons (Mezzo Soprano); Gloria Crane (Voice); Catrin Davies; Melodie Waddingham (Voice); Ryland Davies (Tenor); Moira Harris (Soprano); Josephine Barstow (Soprano); William Berger; James Edwards (Treble)
  • Conductor: Paul Daniel
  • Ensemble: English National Opera Chorus
  • Notes: Blackheath Halls, London, England (10/20/2005-10/26/2005)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1953-1956