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Cat. No. CHAN 3010 Price: £4.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 3010 - Great Operatic Arias, Vol. 2 - Diana Montague
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Great Operatic Arias, Vol. 2 - Diana Montague

Leading English mezzo-soprano Diana Montague performs a kaleidoscopic selection of pieces from the French operatic repertoire. This album features an excellent selection of well-known and lesser-known works including the extremely popular flower duet from Lakmé.

Diana Montague is joined in three extracts by mary Plazas and Bruce Ford, both renowned exponents of Opera in English.

Orpheus’s closing arias from Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice was originally written in Italian for Vienna, rewritten in French for Paris, and made famous by Kathleen Ferrier in English - a tribute to the power of singing in the vernacular. The mellifluous, nocturnal mood of the Trio from Rossini’s Count Ory is among the glories of Rossinian - and French - opera. Donizetti’s La favorite was written for the French capital, but historically was heard more often in italian; ’O mon Fernand’ (Oh my beloved) in this recording includes the Cabaletta often omitted from recital discs.

At the very centre of Berlioz’s Faust is Marguérite’s great lament, where she expresses all the sorrow in her soul. Gounod’s Faust was probably the most popular of French operas until Carmen appeared, its meldofy and theatricality made it a sure-fire sucess. In its day, Thomas’s Mignon was as popular as Faust, but is now seldom heard in the opera house.

Saint-Saëns’s bible-based, hieractical opera Samson and Delilah is another work that achieved immense and well-deserved popularity. It is notable both for its clever characterization, sense of stagecraft and above all, memorable melodies. In Lakmë, Delibes proved no slouch in writing catchy tunes. Offenbach wrote love with her professional partner Piquillo, she goes through various tribulations before true love triumphs. La Périchole at the height of his popularity and, after its premiere, it was soon heard in New York and London. The street-singer of its title is one of the composer’s most delightful creations. In love with her professional partner Piquillo, she goes through various tribulations before true love triumphs

Reviews

                       ’Classical CD of the Week
"...This is one of my discs of the year."
Alan Blyth - The Daily Telegraph - 3 October 1998

"... a win-win situation, especially when you factor in Montague’s often stunning vocalism, the superb playing of the Philharmonia under parry and Chandos’s fine sound."
Lucano - American Record Guide - March/April 1999

"...A lovely disc"
The Sunday Telegraph - 4 October 1998

"Montague our leading interpreter of what the French call the Falcon repertory (after a singer of this special character), has been far too little celebrated, at least on disc, so this superbly executed programme of French opera arias, with one exception, sung in the vernacular with impeccable diction and full dramatic import, must be reckoned the jewel so far in the Chandos Opera in English series. Above all it is Montague’s distinctive timbre, sense of correct style and complete identification with each character in turn that makes the recital so thrilling, exciting and pleasing at once to the ear and the senses... This is undoubtedly one of my CDs of the year.
Alan Blythe - Gramophone - November 1998

        Performance ****      Sound ****
"Diana Montague’s English-language survey of French repertoire has all the elegance, beauty of intonation and phrasing one expects from this fine mezzo... Appealing emotion-filled survey with Montague melifluous and moving."
Michael Quinn - Classic CD - Christmas 1998

"... outstanding recital disc ... a CD of high distinction..."
John Higgins - The Times - 8 October 1998

 

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