A kékszakállú herceg vára
Matthias Goerne Bluebeard
Michelle DeYoung Judith
Gianandrea Noseda direction
Orchestre National de France
Dvořák The Golden Spinning Wheel, symphonic poem
Sung in Hungarian with French and English subtitles
A near contemporary of Pelléas by Debussy and Ariane by Dukas, Bluebeard’s Castle is Bartók’s only foray into opera, but the form chosen by the Hungarian composer marks a complete departure from the works of his predecessors. The plot is condensed into a single act lasting barely an hour, but the score is extraordinary. It brims with daring and dazzlingly imaginative sounds and takes this metamorphosis of loneliness and of a love affair beset with difficulties to new heights. In his hands, Charles Perrault’s tale becomes an existential tragedy in which human beings and emotions are laid bare. Voices are never treated in duets, but always in distinct monologues which confront or caress each other. The orchestra takes on the role of a third character, responsible for creating the musical setting for the sparring lovers. The work had a difficult early history but found powerful advocates in a small number of major conductors such as Karl Böhm, and has since earned its place among the most powerful works of the 20th century.
Coproduction Théâtre des Champs-Elysées / Radio France
France Musique broadcasts this concert.