Stravinsky - Oedipus Rex, Apollon Musagete
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Label: LSO Live
Cat No: LSO0751
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 7th April 2014
Gentlemen of the Monteverdi Choir
London Symphony Orchestra
ConductorJohn Eliot Gardiner
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the London Symphony Orchestra on this his first release for LSO Live, Stravinsky’s 'Oedipus Rex' and 'Apollon musagète'. Also featured on the release are the gentlemen of the Monteverdi Choir, considered one of the world’s leading choirs, and a mix of international and home-grown soloists including Jennifer Johnston and Stuart Skelton. French actress Fanny Ardant, who has appeared in more than 50 motion pictures, takes the rôle of narrator.
'Oedipus Rex' and 'Apollon musagète' are both ancient Greek-themed works by Stravinsky. The rich string harmonies and textures in the ballet score of 'Apollon musagète' are pleasantly mesmerising, expressive and calmly indulgent. In contrast, the dramatic and hauntingly compelling opera-oratorio 'Oedipus Rex' is composed of an assemblage of monumental and powerful sounds, such as playful woodwinds, robust brass and agile strings, with magnificent vocals from the choir and soloists.
Cast (Oedipus Rex):
- Jennifer Johnston [Jocasta]
- Stuart Skelton [Oedipus]
- Gidon Saks [Creon]
- Fanny Ardant [narrator]
"An electrifying LSO performance under John Eliot Gardiner, who obtained razor-sharp rhythms and cracked-ice wind and brass sonorities from his players" - The Evening Standard
"Stuart Skelton was the suavely plausible Oedipus, perfectly calibrating his change from swaggering self-confidence, to horror-struck despair. Jennifer Johnson was a formidable Jocasta, venomously spitting out her dismissal of the oracles while Gardiner thrillingly energised the cascading wind instruments beneath her; Gidon Saks was an oleaginous Creon, ratcheting the drama up another notch in his only aria. Not a single dramatic detail was missed; Gardiner ensured that everything was vividly present and straight to the dramatic point." - The Guardian
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