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Pelléas et Mélisande (Herbert von Karajan recording)

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Pelléas et Mélisande
File:Pelleas Karajan cd.jpg
EMI Records CD: CDS 7 49350 2
Studio album by
Herbert von Karajan
Released1979
StudioPhilharmonie, Berlin
GenreOpera
Length162:09
LanguageFrench
ProducerMichel Glotz

Pelléas et Mélisande is a 162-minute studio album of Claude Debussy's opera, performed by Christine Barbaux, José van Dam, Nadine Denize, Ruggero Raimondi, Frederica von Stade, Richard Stilwell and Pascal Thomas with the Chorus of the German Opera Berlin and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Herbert von Karajan. It was released in 1979.

Recording[edit | edit source]

The album was recorded using analogue technology in December 1978 in the Philharmonie, Berlin.[1][2]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

Maurice Maeterlinck, Pelléas's Belgian librettist

The album was reviewed or discussed by Lionel Salter in Gramophone in December 1979.[3] by James Goodfrien in Stereo Review in March 1980, [4] by J. B. Steane in Gramophone in April 1980,[5] by Hilary Finch in Gramophone in February 1988,[6] by Lionel Salter in Gramophone in November 1999[2] and by Roger Nichols in Gramophone in May 2002.[7]

Track listing: CD1[1][edit | edit source]

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Pelléas et Mélisande (1902), opera in five acts, with a libretto by Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949) from his play of the same name

Act One

Scene 1: A forest

  • 1 (5:53) Je ne pourrai plus sortir de cette fôret (Golaud, Mélisande)
  • 2 (7:31) Qu'est-ce qui brille ainsi, au fond de l'eau? (Golaud, Mélisande)

Scene 2: A room in the castle

  • 3 (3:06) Voici ce qu'il écrit à son frère Pelléas (Geneviève)
  • 4 (3:45) Je n'en dis rien (Arkel, Geneviève)
  • 5 (3:59) Grand-père, j'ai reçu en même temps que la lettre de mon frère (Pelléas, Arkel, Geneviève)

Scene 3: In front of the castle

  • 6 (2:16) Il fait sombre dans les jardins (Mélisande, Geneviève, Pelléas)
  • 7 (3:59) Hoë! Hisse hoë! Hoë! Hoë! (Chorus, Mélisande, Pelléas, Geneviève)

Act Two

Scene 1: A fountain in the park

  • 8 (3:42) Vous ne savez pas où je vous ai menée? (Pelléas, Mélisande)
  • 9 (6:32) C'est au bord d'une fontaine aussi qu'il vous a trouvée? (Pelléas, Mélisande)

Scene 2: A room in the castle

  • 10 (2:49) Ah! Ah! Tout va bien, cela ne sera rien (Golaud, Mélisande)
  • 11 (6:28) Je suis... je suis malade ici (Mélisande, Geneviève)
  • 12 (5:35) Tiens, où est l'anneau que je t'avais donné? (Golaud, Mélisande)

Scene 3: In front of a cave

  • 13 (4:51) Oui, c'est ici, nous y sommes (Pelléas, Mélisande)

Track listing: CD2[1][edit | edit source]

Act Three

Scene 1: One of the castle towers

  • 1 (5:17) Mes longs cheveux descendent (Mélisande, Pelléas)
  • 2 (2:54) Oh! Oh! Mes cheveux descendent de la tour (Mélisande, Pelléas)
  • 3 (7:20) Je les noue, je les noue aux branches de saule (Pelléas, Mélisande, Geneviève)

Scene 2: The castle vaults

  • 4 (2:14) Prenez garde, par ici, par ici (Golaud, Pelléas)

Scene 3: A terrace at the entrance to the vaults

  • 5 (6:04) Ah! Je respire enfin! (Pelléas, Golaud)

Scene 4: In front of the castle

  • 6 (6:33) Viens, nous allons nous asseoir ici, Yniold (Golaud, Yniold)
  • 7 (4:01) Ah! Ah! Petite mère a allumé sa lampe (Yniold, Golaud)

Track listing: CD3[1][edit | edit source]

Act Four

Scene 1: A room in the castle

  • 1 (4:01) Oǜ vas-tu? Il faut que je parle ce soir (Pelléas, Mélisande)

Scene 2: A room in the castle

  • 2 (5:15) Maintenant que le père de Pelléas est sauvé (Arkel, Mélisande)
  • 3 (0:55) Pelléas part ce soir (Golaud, Arkel, Mélisande)
  • 4 (11:12) Apporte-la (Golaud, Arkel, Mélisande)

Scene 3: A fountain in the park

  • 5 (4:05) Oh! Cette pierre est lourde (Yniold, Shepherd)

Scene 4: A fountain in the park

  • 6 (6:11) C'est le dernier soir (Pelléas, Mélisande)
  • 7 (4:10) On dirait que ta voix a passé sur la mer au printemps! (Pelléas, Mélisande)
  • 8 (4:32) Quel est ce bruit? On ferme les portes (Pelléas, Mélisande)

Act Five

Scene: A room in the castle

  • 9 (3:43) Ce n'est pas de cette petite blessure qu'elle peut mourir (Physician, Arkel, Golaud)
  • 10 (4:09) Ouvrez la fenêtre, ouvrez la fenêtre (Mélisande, Arkel, Physician)
  • 11 (4:46) Mélisande... Mélisande / Est-ce vous, Golaud? (Golaud, Mélisande)
  • 12 (2:19) Non, non, nous n'avons pas été coupable (Mélisande, Golaud)
  • 13 (2:48) Qu'avez vous fait? Vous allez la tuer (Arkel, Golaud, Mélisande)
  • 14 (2:37) Qu'y-a-t-il? Qu'est-ce que toutes ces femmes viennent faire ici? (Golaud, Physician, Arkel)
  • 15 (6:16) Attention... attention (Arkel, Physician)

Personnel[1][3][edit | edit source]

Musical[edit | edit source]

Other[edit | edit source]

  • Janine Reiss, French language coach
  • Michel Glotz, producer
  • Wolfgang Gülich, balance engineer

Release history[edit | edit source]

Pelléas and Mélisande by the fountain in the park, imagined by Edmund Blair Leighton

In 1979, the album was released as a triple LP by Angel Records in the USA and by EMI Records elsewhere: the catalogue numbers were SZCX 3885 and SLS 5172 respectively.[8][9] Both releases included a booklet with notes, texts and transltions. The album was also issued on cassette (catalogue number TC SLS 5172), again with a booklet with notes, texts and translations.[10]

In 1987, the album was released as a triple CD by Angel Records in the USA and by EMI Records elsewhere: the catalogue numbers were CDCC 49350 and CDS 7 49350 2 respectively.[1][11] The discs were issued in a slipcase with a 128-page booklet containing a photograph of Debussy, an essay in French by Maurice Tassart, essays on the opera and its leitmotivs by Felix Aprahamian in English and German and synopses and libretti in all three languages.[1]

In 1999, the album was reissued by EMI Records on CD (catalogue number CMS 5 67057 2) as part of their series of "Great Recordings of the Century".[2] In 2014, the album was issued on CD by Warner Classics (catalogue number 667232 7).[12]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Debussy, Claude: Pelléas et Mélisande, cond. Herbert von Karajan, EMI Records CD, CDS 7 49350 2, 1987
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gramophone, November 1999, p. 114
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gramophone, December 1979, p. 1040
  4. Stereo Review, March 1980, p. 100
  5. Gramophone, April 1980, p. 1536
  6. Gramophone, February 1988, p. 1236
  7. Gramophone, May 2002, pp. 38-43
  8. Debussy, Claude: Pelléas et Mélisande, cond. Herbert von Karajan, Angel Records LP, SZCX 3885, 1979
  9. Debussy, Claude: Pelléas et Mélisande, cond. Herbert von Karajan, EMI Records LP, SLS 5172
  10. Debussy, Claude: Pelléas et Mélisande, cond. Herbert von Karajan, EMI Records MC, TC SLS 5172, 1979
  11. Debussy, Claude: Pelléas et Mélisande, cond. Herbert von Karajan, Angel Records CD, CDCC 49350, 1987
  12. Debussy, Claude: Pelléas et Mélisande, cond. Herbert von Karajan, Warner Classics CD, 667232 7, 2014


Others articles of the Topic Opera : Sylvain Fort, Frederica von Stade chante Monteverdi & Cavalli (recording), Monteverdi & Cavalli Arias, Così fan tutte (Alain Lombard recording), Cendrillon (Julius Rudel recording), Hänsel und Gretel (John Pritchard recording), Le nozze di Figaro (Georg Solti recording)


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