on 13 October 2013
As a firm opera fan this came as something of a surprise: it is definitely as described - a symphonie drammatique - rather than an opera. But it is extremely atmospheric and beautiful with excellent singing from Catherine Robbin (alas, only one solo) and the Monteverdi Choir were in their element with pieces that were reminiscent of their namesake's Madrigali.
I did wonder how a 20 page basic libretto could stretch over 2 CDs and it turns out that there are two versions of some of the tracks of Romeo et Juliette floating around - the original and the standard version. This CD combines both but in a strange fashion with part of the standard and then part of the original slightly later on the same CD, then the same thing on CD 2. The libretto is equally confusing (it does come with a translated libretto) with the tracks on it not listed in the order that they are on the CD so that track 12 follows track 6 in the libretto.
A good buy but I would have preferred to have the producer choose the best versions of each track in its proper sequence and then added the alternative versions as bonus tracks at the end - so long as he included my favourite track 'Premiers transports'. Oddly enough, this latter track sold me on the work when I heard it on that black comedy 'The Seven Psychopaths' My biggest criticism is the flimsy, brittle-plastic CD case which nearly caused me to return the CD to Amazon because I couldn't get it out of it's case!