Notes & Reviews:
André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry was the greatest French composer of opéra-comique in the eighteenth century. His librettist for Le Magnifique, Jean-Michel Sedaine, took a tale by La Fontaine and fashioned it into a compelling libretto. Grétry responded with an outstanding score, including one of the first programmatic overtures in musical history. His expressive love music, and extended preludes and postludes, add to the theatrical variety of this important and varied opera.
Grétry's programmatic overture, a rarity for its time, sets up the story nicely, and the music of the opera - which runs 80 minutes and which Naxos has managed to fit onto a single CD - propels the plot along neatly, with the love music being especially expressive. Opera Lafayette has successfully revived quite a few long-unperformed operas, and does itself proud... with this sparkling recording. Ryan Brown leads the troupe with a sure hand... Le Magnifique... [has] many pleasures and a catchy, well-constructed score that is well worth rediscovering - or discovering in the first place.
MusicWeb International, April 2013
As you would expect from this composer, the music is unfailingly well made and elegant, but at times it goes much further than that...The performance is admirably stylish, with singers and orchestra all fully attuned to the French style of this period.
American Record Guide, May/June 2013
By introducing several other musical peculiarities Gretry makes Le Magnifique into a work of more importance than many of his others. Acts 1 and 2 end with a trio for tenors. Tenor Gonzalez Toro has the loveliest voice of the three, Sulayman a rather baritonal sound. The work is effective musically, with many a good tune to delight the ear. The recording is a delight, with youthful voices in full cry. Conductor Brown keeps the music light.
Recording information: Dekelboum Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, U (02/06/2011-02/08/2011).
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Works DetailsAndré-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (1741 - 1813) : Le Magnifique, opera
- Conductor: Ryan Brown
- Ensemble: Opera Lafayette
- Notes: Dekelboum Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, USA (02/06/2011-02/08/2011)
- Running Time: 5 min. 43 sec.
- Period Time: Classical
- Form: Opera/Operetta