Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev – Massenet: Don Quichotte (2012) MCH SACD ISO

Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev – Massenet: Don Quichotte (2012)
PS3 Rip | 2x SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 111:35 minutes | Digital Booklet | 5,97 GB
an heroic comedy in five acts | Features Stereo and Multichannel surround sound

Massenet’s Don Quichotte has never quite established itself in the repertoire, not because of any deficit in the music, but because it’s not immediately evident exactly what it is dramatically; is it a comedy or tragedy or some more subtle blend of the two? The last option seems to reflect the usual approach to it, which makes it a hard sell for audiences. Valery Gergiev clearly envisions it a comedy, though one with a poignant ending, and the certainty of his vision make this an exceptionally compelling and coherent presentation of the opera. His position is supported by the program notes, which point out the extent to which Massenet filled the score with tongue-in-cheek parodies of operatic conventions, such as his send-up of Gounod’s pieties in the Don’s fervent entreaty to the Chief of the Bandits. Gergiev’s reading is energetically paced, and the vivacious playing and singing of the Mariinsky Orchestra and the Soloists’ Ensemble of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers convey boisterous vitality. This is one version of the opera that avoids the mawkish sentimentality to which most performances fall prey. Mezzo-soprano Anna Kiknadze is a youthful, warmly seductive, and high-spirited Dulcinée; her portrayal suggests what Carmen might have been like had she had a more bourgeois upbringing and better impulse control. Her full, colorful voice and lively acting makes it easy to imagine her as a vivid Carmen. Ferruccio Furlanetto has established himself as master of tragic Verdi roles like King Philip in Don Carlos and Silva in Ernani. He may not have the vocal gravitas of singers like Chaliapin and Christoff in the role, but he has plenty of power and he’s a terrific actor. He excels in comedy and convincingly establishes the tricky balance between the Don’s frail dignity and absurdity, and he makes him a character who’s not only sympathetic but believable. As Sancho, Andrei Serov, sings robustly and is an effective foil to Furlanetto. The smaller roles are consistently well taken. Although there are no French performers involved in the opera, Gergiev draws out performances that are idiomatically Gallic. The sound of Mariinsky’s SACD is well balanced, very clean, and clearly detailed. Overall, this exemplary performance makes the most compelling recorded case for Don Quichotte as an opera that deserves a place in the more standard repertoire.


01. Act I: i. Alza!
02. Act I: ii. Quand la femme a vingt ans
03. Act I: iii. Dulcinйe est certes jolie
04. Act I: iv. Allйgresse!
05. Act I: v. C’est merveille de voir
06. Act I: vi. O Dulcinйe!
07. Act I: vii. Cet homme a fait le voeu
08. Act I: viii. Ah! Ah! C’est vous qui lanciez
09. Act I: ix. Vous etes, monseigneur
10. Act II: i. C’est vers ton amour
11. Act II: ii. Comment peut-on penser du bien
12. Act II: iii. Regarde!

01. Premier Interlude
02. Act III: i. C’est ici le chemin
03. Act III: ii. O mes reves divins
04. Act III: iii. Ah! Voir un corps long
05. Act III: iv. Seigneur, recois mon ame
06. Act IV: i. Alors traitresse
07. Act IV: ii. Ah! J’ai en ce moment le desir
08. Act IV: iii. Alza! Ne pensons qu’au plaisir d’aimer
09. Act IV: iv. Annonce le Grand Don Quichotte
10. Act IV: v. On ne s’explique
11. Act IV: vi. Marchez dans mon chemin
12. Act IV: vii. Me marier, moi!
13. Act IV: viii. Enfin, te revoila!
14. Act IV: ix. Riez, allez!
15. Deuxieme Interlude
16. Act V: i. O mon maitre!
17. Act V: ii. Oui! Je fus le chef
18. Act V: iii. L’Etoile!

Don Quichotte – Ferruccio FURLANETTO
Dulcinea – Anna KIKNADZE
Sancho Panca – Andrei SEROV
Pedro – Eleonora VINDAU
Garcias – Julia MATOCHKINA
Rodriguez – Carlos D’ONOFRIO
Juan – Dmitry KOLEUSHKO
Tenebrun, Chief of the Bandits – Didier JOUANNY
Premier bandit – Sergei ZAMAREV
Two servants – Denis FEDORENKO & Andrei BONDARENKO

Soloists’ Ensemble of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers,
Mariinsky Orchestra – Musical Director and Conductor: Valery GERGIEV.

Libretto by Henri Cain, based on Don Quixote by Jacques Le Lorrain

Produced by James Mallinson. Engineered by Vladimir Ryabenko
Recorded May 27-29, 2011 in the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia


%d bloggers like this: