Customer Review

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure musical pleasure..., 15 Feb 2002
This review is from: Auber: Le Domino noir (Audio CD)
This might not be the most profound music ever written but few recordings give as much sheer, unadulterated pleasure as this one. Even if Auber doesn't explore any great depths of feeling, he certainly manages to convey one emotion better than most other composers: pure joy. This set is a delight from beginning to end. Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber is probably most famous in the history books for "La Muette de Portici" (or "Masaniello" as it is sometimes called), which played an important role in the development of French 'grand opera' (and, incidentally, in the creation of Belgium - inspired by the patriotic arias in a production of this opera in Brussels in 1830, discontented local students took to the streets and rioted against the Dutch authorities, an act which was soon to culminate in the country's independence from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. So perhaps Auber was responsible for the most influential 'political' music ever written!). But Auber is probably at his best in his lighter 'operas comiques', which were wildly successful with Parisian audiences - "Le Domino Noir" notched up 1209 performances between its premiere in 1837 and 1909. The style is perhaps most reminiscent of Rossini, but it has a more dancelike, 'bouncy' feel to it, with infectious, toetapping rhythms driving the music irresistibly along, except in the more lyrical love music. It was Rossini himself who described Auber's style as 'petite musique d'un grand musicien' ('minor music by a major composer'), since Auber was no amateur but a highly educated musician who chose to exercise his talents on lightweight music. He would often give his operas 'local colour': in 'Le Cheval de Bronze' it was Chinese music, in 'Les Diamants de la Couronne', Portuguese. Here there is a distinct Spanish flavour, complete with castanets in the heroine's show-stopping "Aragonaise". Auber also differentiated the music of each act - the first, a masked ball, is predominantly made up of dance music, including a bolero; the second act is a late night party with rousing drinking songs and choruses; finally, in the third act, set in a convent, there is even a 'religious' feeling to some of the music, with organ accompaniment.
It's impossible to imagine a livelier, more sympathetic performance of this opera than this recording. The singers are uniformly excellent, even if they are not all well-known names. Just the right amount of Scribe's extensive dialogue has been left in between the musical numbers and it is sparkingly performed (and as an added bonus, a few recitatives have been inserted, composed by Tchaikovsky especially for a late nineteenth century Russian production). The Bonynge-Jo team went on to record another 'opera comique', Adam's "Le Toreador", which is only slightly less successful than "Le Domino Noir". They should definitely follow it up with further examples from this genre: more Auber would be great, or how about Herold's "Zampa", famous for its overture, but yet to be treated to a complete recording? (Brys)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

5.0 out of 5 stars (2 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: USA/UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,117,579