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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten masterpiece, 17 Mar 2003
This review is from: Auber: La Muette de Portici (Audio CD)
Finally a reissue of the only existing recording of one of the acclaimed masterpieces of french operatic history, ultimately leading to the establishing of the Kingdom of Belgium.
This work is very different from the opera-comiques of Auber and contains a good deal of progressive music for the time. No wonder ,that Wagner praised this opera,obviously modelling his Rienzi on it.One of the main characters is a mime (mute) giving the opportunity for a lot of dramatic illustrating music to the mimes. It must be a difficult opera to stage today, but it is incomprehensible that this should be the only recording of it....
The singers are good to adequate, Kraus singing at his best in a very dramatic role as Masaniello. Shame on the conductor for not recording the two sections of ballet music which form an integrated part of the opera, with a tarantella in act II (omitted) and a shorter dance in act I. This to fit it into two records even if we would gladly pay for three, a textbook and a proper casing like the old issue from 1987. So this is not a complete recording unfortunately. This very significant opera with surprisingly fine music deserves a supreme unabridged recording by an outstanding conductor. If the crisis in the recording business resolves it should be worth the effort.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Auber's main claim to fame, 14 Aug 2004
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This review is from: Auber: La Muette de Portici (Audio CD)
As the opera which sparked the Belgian independance movement this story of a Sicilian revolt certainly has a place in history. The few well known arias - including Ferme tes yeux'
and the nationalist duet are well handled.
I'm a little disappointed that the libretto promised in the sleeve is not actually available on the EMI website, nor elsewhere. But apart from that it's the definitive recording, and it's good to have it reappear.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Singing very good; score less so., 24 Jun 2014
This review is from: Auber: La Muette de Portici (Audio CD)
Even by the ludicrous standards of opera story-telling, this tale - ending in the dumb heroine throwing herself into molten lava as Vesuvius erupts during a revolution [sic] - is absurd, as well as being handled very awkwardly. However, the singing is fine although the music is pedestrian and undistinguished far too often. Still, as the first grand opera, it's worth having.
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Auber: La Muette de Portici
Auber: La Muette de Portici by June Anderson (Audio CD - 2002)
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