Opera Explained: Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (Audiobook CD)

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Description

Opera Explained: Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (Audiobook CD)

Composer: Claude Debussy
Author: Thomson Smillie
Narrator: David Timson
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Naxos
CD Release Date: April 1, 2005
Run Time: 78 minutes

Dating from the last decade of the nineteenth century, Pelléas et Mélisande points the way into the twentieth century. Debussy retains the text of Maeterlinck’s play, and the linguistic subtleties of the French text are matched perfectly by the musical detail. Taking a little time to explore the romantic, elusive world of this opera is particularly rewarding.

Opera Explained
This series introduces, in words and music, the plot and background of major operas. Using the pricipal themes and arias, taken from the Naxos recording of the complete work, Thomson Smillie in informative yet entertaining, enabling the listener to get more from this remarkable art form.



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History

Pelléas et Mélisande

Composed in 1895, Pelléas et Mélisande is the only opera Claude Debussy ever completed. It is considered a landmark in 20th-century music.

Performed in five acts, the story is about the love triangle between Prince Golaud, Mélisande, a mysterious young woman lost in a forest whom he marries and Golaud’s younger half-brother Pelléas, who has a passionate relationship with Mélisande. In the end this is a classic tale of love, betrayal and death.

Set in the mythical kingdom of Allemonde, the era is not indicated, but the ambience of the story is medieval, more suggestive than specific.

It premiered at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on April 30,1902, was performed at the Met in 2011 then returned almost a decade later in its 2018–19 season.

 

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