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Fortunio (Lyon Opera Orchestra & Chorus, Gardiner) Import

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x915b5d14) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91643948) out of 5 stars Just so beautiful... 17 Feb. 2005
By Brett Farrell - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I am a huge fan of Andre Messager and am constantly hunting down his works (only on CD) and I remember how happy I was when I found a copy of this still in it's original plastic. As I listened to it again and again I only fell more in love with it. It's one of my favorite operas to listen to as I go to sleep and to write to because it is so bewitching. I love being under it's spell.
John Gardiner does an excellent job with the whole piece and makes the whole opera come to life. Even if you don't know what they're saying you truly know how the characters feel. But if you must know what they're saying there is a complete libretto as well as some excellent and informative notes on the opera.
This CD, despite what the description says, is on the Erato label, not Electra. Unless there is something about these two labels I don't know.
Anyway this is one of my favorite operas and I highly recommend it. The more you listen to it the more you fall in love with it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9163bb40) out of 5 stars A vey compelling work in good performances 16 Jan. 2012
By G.D. - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
André Messager (1853-1929) studied with Fauré and Saint-Saëns and went on to become one of the most celebrated composers of operettas of his time. Fortunio, however, is a genuine opera. Messager of course utilized his skills as an operetta composer, and Fortunio is generally light and tuneful, but far more robust than most operettas. It is dramatically effective, beautifully scored, and contains magnificently written vocal lines and resourcefully developed dramatic climaxes. It is, in short, a very fine, often enchanting work that really deserves to be heard by fans of French opera, as well as a life in the opera house.

The set at hand is a recording of a 1987 production at the Opéra de Lyon and sports a generally solid cast. Thierry Dran as Fortunio is on fine form and paints a compelling portrait of the slightly naïve title character - there are some rough patches in the singing, admittedly, but this is overall a fine performance. Colette Alliot-Lugaz is a seductive, beautifully voiced Jacqueline, Michel Trempont is a marvelous Maître André, and Gilles Cachemaille always reliable and often deeply impressive as Captain Clavaroche. The smaller roles are overall fine.

The orchestral playing is good, and Gardiner directs a vibrant, energetic performance with finely shaped climaxes and plenty of color. The main drawback is the sound quality; the recording is detailed and finely balanced, but rather artificial sounding, and the sharp, bright strings are almost on the verge of being painful to the ear at times. We get a full libretto with translation but little meaningful by way of other information about the work. To sum up, this is a deepy compelling work in overall very good performances; too bad about the sound (maybe it sounds better on different systems than mine), but it cannot undermine an overall very strong recommendation.
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