Saint-Saëns: Déjanire (2-CD)

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Saint-Saëns: Déjanire (2-CD)

Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns
Artists: Kate Alddrich, Julien Dran, Anaïs Constans, Jérôme Boutillier, Anna Dowsley, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Chœur de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo
Conductor: Kazuki Yamada
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Bru Zane
Release Date: February 29, 2024

“It will be a strange score: people will either not like it at all, or will like it enormously,” prophesied Camille Saint-Saëns a few days before the premiere of Déjanire. The opera, first performed in Monte Carlo in 1911, is based on incidental music written in 1898 for the Béziers Arena. 

Fascinated by the subject, the composer soon wanted to give it a second, more ambitious life. He conceived a mythological epic that inspired “powerfully evocative music,” according to Gabriel Fauré, who was struck by the impact of the choral writing. Yet the love drama that rends the heroine’s heart engenders wildly romantic duets and culminates in the public immolation of Hercules, set ablaze by the poisoned tunic offered to him by the fallen queen.

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