Episode 143. Pelléas Part Deux

Episode 143. Pelléas Part Deux

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Pelleas and Melisande by Edmund Blair Leighton

Today I conclude my examination of my favorite opera, Claude Debussy and Maurice Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande, with an expanded roster of singers which includes return visits from some of last week’s interpreters (Camille Maurane, Gabriel Bacquier, Gérard Souzay, Françoise Ogéas, Jacques Jansen, and Michèle Command) alongside other, equally magnificent singers (George Shirley, Janine Micheau, George London, Elisabeth Söderström, Henri-Bertrand Etcheverry, Irène Joachim, André Vessières, and others) under the batons of Jean Fournet, Pierre Boulez, Armin Jordan, as well as last week’s master helmsmen Roger Désormière and Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht. I also foreground the young lyric baritone Huw Montague Rendall, who just last season sang his first Pelléas and who has already earned a place for himself among these other great artists. My further discussion of the opera includes discussions of Wagner, Mussorgsky, Edgar Allan Poe, and toxic masculinity, as each pertains to this piece. So many listeners wrote to tell me how last week’s episode changed their mind about this opera. Evidently I’ve done my job well. We need fewer Pelléas haters out there, and more, many more, Pelléas lovers!

RECORDINGS HEARD IN THIS EPISODE

Claude Debussy

All selections this week are from Pelléas et Mélisande by Claude Debussy and Maurice Maeterlinck.

Maurice Maeterlinck

Act I, Scene 2. Grand-père, j’ai reçu au même temps. Huw Montague Rendall, Pierre Dumoussaud, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen Normandie [live Rouen 22.I.2021]

Act III, Scene 1. Oh! oh! Qu’est-ce que c’est?… Je les noue, je les noue aux branches de saule. Huw Montague Rendall, Pierre Dumoussaud [live Rouen 22.I.2021]

Act III, Scene 1. Mes longs cheveux descendent Irène Joachim, Jacques Jansen, Orchestra conducted by Roger Désormière [1941]

Roger Désormière

Act III, Scene 2. Prenez garde; par ici, par ici. Gabriel Bacquier, Claude Dormoy, Serge Baudo, Orchestre de Lyon [1978]

Serge Baudo

Act III, Scene 3. Ah! je respire enfin! Huw Montague Rendall, Pierre Dumoussaud [live Rouen 22.I.2021]

Act III, Scene 4. Viens, nous allons nous asseior ici. Henri-Bertrand Etcheverry, Leïla Ben Sedira, Orchestra conducted by Roger Désormière [1941]

Act IV, Scene 1. Où vas-tu? Il faut que je te parle ce soir. George Shirley, Elisabeth Söderström, Pierre Boulez, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden [1970]

Act IV, Scene 2. Pelléas part ce soir. Françoise Ogéas, Gérard Souzay, Roger Gosselin, Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht, Orchestre National de la RTF [ORTF 24.XI.55]

Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht

Act IV, Scene 3. Oh! Cette pierre est lourde! Mady Mesplé, Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Francaise [Paris 16.I.1958]

Act IV, Scene 4. C’est le dernier soir… On dirait que ta voix a passé sur la mer au printemps. Huw Montague Rendall, Pierre Dumoussaud [live Rouen 22.I.2021]

C’est le dernier soir. Claude Dormoy, Michèle Command, Serge Baudo, Orchestre de Lyon [1978]

On dirait que ta voix a passé sur la mer au printemps. Camille Maurane, Janine Micheau, Jean Fournet, Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux [1953]

Jean Fournet

Act V. Mélisande, as-tu pitié de moi comme j’ai pitié de toi? George London, Erna Spoorenberg, Ernest Ansermet, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande [1964]

Ernest Ansermet

Mélisande?… Est-ce vous, grand-père? André Vessières, Micheline Grancher, Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht, Orchestre National de la RTF [Paris 13.III.62]

Ne restez pas ici, Golaud. François Loup, Armin Jordan, Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo [1981]

Armin Jordan

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