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Debussy: Pelléas and Mélisande / Mark Elder

Audio Samples

>Debussy, Claude : Pelléas et Mélisande

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : Pelléas et Mélisande
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This live BBC broadcast of Claude Debussy's ground-breaking opera Pelléas and Mélisande was recorded at the Coliseum in 1981. The unique performance is now available on CD for the first time, as part of Chandos' Opera in English historical series, performed by the English National Opera Orchestra and Chorus under Sir Mark Elder, with the soloists Neil Howlett, Eilene Hannon, and Robert Dean playing out the tragic love triangle.

"An unfussy, lucid rendering of an opera whose vocal lines, so closely wedded to French prosody, present perhaps more of a challenge to translators than any other in the repertoire. The casting shows the depth of ENO 30 years ago, with Eilene Hannan as Mélisande, more knowing, less naive than some portrayals, the baritone Robert Dean a Pelléas with just the right mix of muscularity and lyric grace" -The Guardian

International Record Review
Elder takes a robust, Wagnerian view of the score... [Hannan] is always characterful, teasing and provocative... [Dean is] good with the words and sounds contrastingly youthful beside Howlett's more mature Golaud... By far the most impressive voices are those of the two basses... Worth encountering primarily for Elder's, and his orchestra's, gripping account of the score.

BBC Music Magazine
Tomlinson giv[es] Arkel the goodness and dignity Debussy asked for... If Pelleas in English appeals, this recording fits the bill, despite the inevitable noises and variable audibility attendant on stage performance.

Gramophone Magazine
John Tomlinson is a sad, wise Arkel... Neil Howlett is good at the tricky ambivalence that dogs Goldau's every step... [Hannan] modifies her natural ardour into a suitably passionate neutrality... [Dean] traces Pelleas's emotional growth well... Definitely recommended for Anglophone listeners because it's good, for once, to be able to absorb every word

The Guardian
An unfussy, lucid rendering of an opera whose vocal lines, so closely wedded to French prosody, present perhaps more of a challenge to translators than any other in the repertoire. The casting shows the depth of ENO 30 years ago, with Eilene Hannan as MTlisande, more knowing, less naive than some portrayals, the baritone Robert Dean a PellTas with just the right mix of muscularity and lyric grace.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: London Coliseum (11/28/1981).



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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : Pelléas et Mélisande
  • Conductor: Mark Elder
  • Ensemble: English National Opera Chorus
  • Running Time: 2 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1893-1902