Wednesday, 18 July 2012

More Proms Pelléas et Mélisande JE Gardiner

 "There will be plenty of hyperbole, bombast and bravado during this ‘Olympic’ Promenade season; but, on this evening Eliot Gardiner reminded us of the genuine potency of refined understatement."

Please read this review of BBC Prom 3 Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande here in Opera Today by Claire Seymour. Reviews in themselves mean nothing. What counts is what the reviewer has put into the analysis. This is good!
"Eliot Gardiner demonstrated a masterly appreciation of the way the subdued sonorities and gentle articulation of period instruments could perfectly convey the shadowy elusiveness and obscurities of Debussy’s score. The instrumental fabric was beautifully blended: orchestral motifs — such as the oboe’s opening arabesques depicting Mélisande’s elusive diffidence — were gracefully etched; delicate, half-whispered gestures, bloomed into swelling torrents of sound. The combination of control and flexibility was impressive as the shifting tonal colours, floating modulations, rhythmic elasticity, half-cadences and flowing, interweaving inner parts conjured a darkly brooding restlessness. The short scenes never seemed fragmented; instead, an air of timelessness was created as we moved from dark forest to enchanted well to gloomy castle. The transition from the second to third scenes in Act 3, as we rose from the subterranean castle vaults to the glaring daylight of the castle terrace was exhilarating."

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