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Berlioz: Les Troyens (The Trojans) Pal [DVD] [2000] [2002]


Price: £29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Orchestre De Paris, Jon Villars, Russell Braun, Deborah Polaski
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: ARTHAUS
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Sep 2002
  • Run Time: 237 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006L3WR
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 176,219 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Alexandre Tarta's production of Berlioz's opera, recorded live at the Salzburg Festival in 2000. Sylvain Cambreling conducts, with performances by Jon Villars, Russell Braun and Tigran Martirossian.

From the Back Cover

Cast:

Aeneas Jon Villars
Choroebus Russell Braun
Pantheus Tigran Martirossian
Narbal Robert Lloyd
Iopas Ilya Levinsky
Ascanio, son of Aeneas Gaele le Roi
Kassandra/Dido Deborah Polaski

Orchestre de Paris, Salzburger Kammerphilharmonie
Conducted by Sylvain Cambreling

Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Slowakischer Philharmonischer Chor Bratislava, Tolzer Knabenchor
Chorus Director Donald Palumbo

Running time 237 minutes (2 discs)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BoskoG on 6 Sep 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Updated to the 20th century using guns, steel helmets, modern type clothes and uniforms.

Picture quality 5
Sound quality 3 - tremble on the very high notes. Lots of audience and stage noises.
Sets 5 - a big white wall with a gap through which we see the horse, the sea and a large anchor. Minimalist sets to represent the forest, palace and the harbor.
Music making (orchestra) 5
Storytelling 5
Direction (camera work) 5
Singing/Acting 5 - Cassandra 5/5, Choroebus 5/5, Aeneas 5/5, Dido 5/5 and chorus 5/5.
Costumes 4 - cast wear black modern type clothing with red or blue gloves.

Recommended with slight reservations about the recorded sound quality.
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MINUS POINTS:
- The gloves: probably fine in the auditorium...as we can see in long-shot; not fine in close-up. Crucial point in the drama in Act One, with Polanski/Braun acting as well as singing their socks off...and my wife loudly wondered when they were going to get on with the washing-up!
- Loss of the ballets. Never mind WHY Berlioz put them in (and we know why and -yes- they can go on a bit); the music is fabulous, balances the drama, and the director could easily have found relevant comment on the action/story.
- Some of Cambreling's deliberate tempi. As Goodall found later in his career (WNO Walkure; some years after the SW/ENO Ring), it is not necessary to slow much of the music down in order to tease out everything. I should point out that most of what the conductor does is not problematic - it's just that once in a while I want to shout "Oh, come ON!"

PLUS POINTS: Everything else, musically and dramatically - and most of what I think has been written in other (positive) reviews. The production is a superb concentration of psychological subtexts as well as narrative.Let me give just one example: Hecuba, often just an anonymous-looking contralto who appears in one scene to join in the great ensemble, is here rendered as the stern power behind the throne. She it is who remains steely-faced before the grieving Andromache, the bad omens and (in this version) body of Laocoon. She it is who -alone- continues the collection of gold for the appeasing gift to Minerva. She it is who -if you like- insists on "business as usual" in Troy. Highly impressive and -if not all Wernicke's ideas work [the over-emphasis on Ascanius in the first part...and, oh yes, the gloves!] most of them do and force us to think about the text, story and characters as never before.

Highly impressive on most counts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrea P. on 31 Aug 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This release is wonderful. Deborah Polaski is a great protagonist, in both roles of Cassandre and Didon. The other singers are good, and the performance is really interesting. I strongly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. J. Collins on 2 Aug 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I admired Herbert Wernicke`s production of Tristan und Isolde some years ago at Covent Garden, and this production looks very good, clear and uncluttered. Polaski and Villars are good, if rather cool. The trouble is ALL the `ballet` music has been cut and that means a lot of Berlioz`s most gorgeous music. My advice is to wait for the Royal Opera`s stunning production to come out on dvd. It is currently available on line .
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CanWrite on 12 Dec 2011
Format: DVD
Connaisseurs will certainly want this in their collection. Berlioz's 19th century French masterpiece should also a part of any opera novice's education. Newcomers to the opera can certainly gain from this DVD, but might also consider alternatives, especially the BBC / Le Chatelet / Gardiner DVD.

My introduction to this opera was in seeing one of the performances at the 2000 Salzburg Festival, and was blown away by the experience - I went on to buy several recordings, read the book (i.e. the Aeneid) and bore people silly about it. But the experience this DVD gives is slightly different from seeing it in the Grosses Festspielhaus. The strengths of director Wernicke's production included his use of crowds on stage, and the geometry of the simple, fairly abstract set to focus attention on the drama, such as when Cassandra first appears in the gap in the wall. Not all of this experience has been transferred (I'd rate it 4.5, if Amazon allowed this). As with so many televised operas, the TV director has introduced a lot of camera close-ups, so the impact of the set and ensembles is often lost. (Sometimes it is just best to trust the original director and leave the camera in the middle of the theatre.) Also, abstract sets and stylised colour schemes (black costumes, white set, red and blue gloves) will not be to all tastes. On the other hand, Deborah Polaski's performance as Didon comes over better, now that we can see the anguish on her face. Jon Villars looks a reasonably convincing hero, and Robert Lloyd and Toby Spence deliver popular performances.

The message behind the production seems to be that following the demands of the gods, your fore-fathers and all the flags, hymns and symbols of nationhood leads to personal heartbreak and ethnic strife.
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