Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Salieri - Tarare / Lafont Caleb Lorenz Crook Malgoire Schwetzinger Festspiele|
Actors: Jean-Claude Malgoire, Jean-Philippe Lafont, Howard Crook, Nicolas Rivenq, Eberhard Lorenz
Directors: Jean-Louis Martinoty, Claus Viller
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
SALIERI:TARARE - DVD Movie
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Jim F. (LXIXME) from LAS CRUCES, NM
Reviewed on 4/22/2010...
Well worth it, thank you.
A delightful opera, and a nice introduction to Salieri
E. Cook | USA | 04/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This delightful production of Salieri's Tarare should be a welcome edition to any music lover's library. The performance is excellent, period instruments, bright & delightful costumes, an artistic direction & set design that emulates the late 18th century; and above all superb singing and acting make this DVD quite memorable.
This opera partakes of the traditions of French opera as modified and reformed by Gluck and progresses beyond into a new realm of theatricality. The opera, as conceived by both Salieri and Beaumarchais, was intended to break down all barriers of late 18th operatic genre as well as provide a political commentary on the tottering ancient regime. However, the story stands on its own as theatre without any knowledge of its particular historical context.
The opera is set in the Middle Eastern kingdom of Hormuze, and revolves around King Atar and his faithful soldier Tarare. Tarare, a commoner, once saved King Atar from drowning and was promoted to the rank of General for this act of heroism. Tarare, now a hero of the people, has become the object of Atar's jealousy and rage. To cause Tarare anguish Atar has Tarare's beautiful and virtuous wife Astasie kidnapped and brought to the harem. However, rather than embrace the Sultan, Astasie spurns him causing a great outburst of cruelty. Atar has his chief Eunuch Calphigi and Calphigi's wife Spinette (both Europeans) entertain Astasie in an attempt to turn her hatred into affection. Tarare arrives and begs the King to grant him leave to pursue his wife's unknown kidnappers. Atar berates Tarare for his tears but consents thereby sending him on his rescue mission and into a trap that will result in his death. However, Calphigi owes his high position to Tarare who once rescued him and his scheming and libidinous wife from Arab slave traders, so Calphigi informs Tarare of the plot to kill him and plans a ruse that will allow Tarare access to the harem and enough time to rescue his wife...much more follows, but eventually Tarare is captured by Atar, and he and his wife are reunited at last, only to be...
The musical design of Tarare is very fluid and relies on the text in the manner of Wagner and colorful text painting abounds. Though sadly, Salieri does not develop his ideas as Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven would have, resulting in an endless stream of new ideas. This generally through-composed style calls for constant movement from orchestral accompanied recitative to arioso and short cavatina or chorus, which means that there are no grand arias. There are several powerful short solos in particular Atar's aria at the end of Act I, also Tarare's in Act III and Calphigi's rage at tyranny in Act IV; also highly entertaining is Calphigi's splendid strophic song in the style of a Barcarolle, the longest solo in the work. The women also have moments of great pathos as well, but among the most interesting portion of the work is the intellectual opening. Though Beaumarchais is somewhat superficial and possibly tedious - depending on your taste. The opera features a very lengthy prologue with a mythic/secular/enlightenment? creation story that frames the basic philosophical question that the opera attempts to answer, namely "What is the relationship between station or class and conduct in life?", i.e. what makes one person noble and another base? Both the Prologue and Epilogue feature some fine moments of orchestral writing and choral moments that remind one of early Beethoven.
The work is moving and the sprightly attitude of the cast helps keep the lengthy work from dragging. Tarare the hero is bold and confident, his passions rising with the score, his wife Astasie is elegant in her sorrow and full of moral outrage at having been kidnapped. Atar, the most difficult of the characters to portray, is at times cruel and humorous. In fairness one must add that though the two "Europeans" in the cast add much comic relief, at times, perhaps they overdo it a bit. The second overture in the "Turkish" style has been cut to a few bars, a shame; and a few moments of dead time between the acts is given a little too much prominence. There are a few small intonation problems from the orchestral pit during this live production, but they are very few and very brief, and directly related to the nature of 18th century instruments. Also the ballet and choral movements in the middle of the work are very charming.
Salieri is not Mozart and one must anticipate a very different work than say Figaro or Don Giovanni, or even Salieri's much more traditional Falstaff, though one might argue this opera has a taste of both Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute. However, it is fast paced, witty, and there are musical moments of great daring and beauty. Mozart's operas greatly benefited from borrowing many of Salieri's operatic innovations, but Salieri's music lacks both Mozart's constant technical and melodic brilliance. However, this opera proves that Salieri could write a moving and powerful work touched with his own personal graces. The cast, crew and orchestra give a fine performance, Bravo. One hopes that other Salieri operas of this quality will follow.
A music drama before its time
Richard | Minneapolis, Mongolia | 03/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Salieri revival continues with this very strange opera - in some ways way ahead of its time. It is a play with music. The only real aria is the Barcarolle in Act 3. The rest is "endless melody" in service to the text. And the plot is pure Enlightenment - character counts above rank. Is it a masterpiece? No. Is it enjoyable? Yes. This is a wonderful production. The singers are good. The staging is in character. If you want to see what music drama would have looked like 50 years before Wagner, let Salieri and Beaumarchais - yes, the creator of Barber and Figaro - be your guides."