In celebration of the 143rd anniversary of the premiere of this greatest of all French opera, here’s one of my favourite versions.
Solange Michel – Carmen
Raoul Jobin – Don José
Martha Angelici – Micaëla
Michel Dens – Escamillo
Germaine Chellet – Frasquita
Raymonde Notti – Mercédès
Xavier Smati – Zuniga
Julien Thirache – Moralès
Jean Vieuille – Le Dancaïre
Frédéric Leprin – Le Remendado
Arschodt – Lillas Pastia
Chœur et Orchestre de l’Opéra-Comique de Paris André Cluytens
Carmen is my second favourite opera after Tchaikovsky’s Evgeny Onegin, and like that work it is based on a short novel which I also love.
This is a great version because it’s all French cast and includes most of the original spoken dialogue.
I used to think it had all the dialogue until I saw Carmen live at the TCE last year and heard dialogue which is not in this recording.
Everything about this recording is great.
I kinda didn’t wanna post it in this section where no one will see it, but non piano posts doesn’t really do well on da sdc anyway.
Maybe I’ll go visit Bizet’s grave today, but I haven’t actually gone to sleep yet and it’s almost midday.
In a way I envy you…you still have so much great music to discover!
Though I’m a pianist & piano teacher, the pieces I love most are NOT for piano, or not exclusively for piano solo.
And knowing and exploring great performances of symphonies, operas, chamber music, ballet, vocal music etc. will definitely totally change your taste in pianists as well.
Cluytens is really a great conductor for the French repertoire.
For operas in general I prefer filmed productions if pozzible, because understanding the libretto while it is sung highly contributes to da appreciation of da opera, and the visuals also add an extra dimension.
The Karajan one (you can practise your Italian, Brew )
Yes, I definitely do. I’ve never been that interested in opera, but I’ve always been interested in orchestral music - I’ve just never had time for it - and I am becoming increasingly interested in the violin and cello repertoires. I’ve attended two violin+piano recitals over the past two years, and both have been among the finest concerts I’ve been to.
With opera you have to pick your spots I think, the compositional quality isn’t as consistent as general orchestral rep. Ballet is fucking awesome but it’s best enjoyed in the opera house. I’m actually fine with hearing rather than seeing opera, especially with all the revolting modern productions. Chamber music, I still haven’t been motivated enouh to attend unless I have absolutely no choice, or if it’s rep that I’m crazy about (e.g. Neuburger in Schumann Quintet).