Sunday, 14 August 2011

Lucerne Festival. Summer. Symphony concert nr 4.

Les Talent Lyriques

Christophe Rousset conductor

Veronique Gens soprano

Gluck: Iphigenie en Tauride. Recital and Aria.

Etienne Nicolas Mehul: Stratonice Overture.

Ariodant. Melodram, Recital and aria.

Salieri: Les Danadies. Overture.
Francois Joseph Grossec: Thesee, recital and aria.
Rudolphe Kreutzer: Astianax. recital and aria.
Hector Berlioz: Les Troyens arias and monolog.
Luigi Cherubini: Medee ouvertyre.
Guiseppe Verdi: Don Carlos Elizabeths scene. Toi qui sus le neant des grandeurs.

A wonderful program and a great orchestra and a soprano that has been named "queen of baroque arias". What could go wrong??. Nothing?. Wrong. The soprano could be wrong.
Before we start the reasons why classicalify loved the orchestra under the french conductor Christophe Rousset. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this festival is that you can hear music that either you never heard before or know very well. In this case never heard before. Apart from Berlioz and Verdi. Rousset has the music in his blood and knows every aspect of the music. The orchestra knows exactly what to do and so far no problem. Veronique Gens sings all the right notes and she is known for this repetoar according to the text in the program. But why is it not working in the first half of the concert?. For one thing she does not convince me as an actress who tells me a story from start to finish about feelings of guilt and murder and other dilemmas. The audience responded with applause of generous support in the first act but a few members of the audience were not impressed. Classicalify included. After the break more and more it was obvious that the interpretation of the soprano was not correct. She is perhaps more comfortable on an opera stage in full costume. Classicalify would love to hear miss Gens again but not like this. She can do better. But alas this was her only concert in Lucerne.

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