Donald Tovey: The Bride of Dionysus

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Ardent Anglophiles must be grateful for excerpts from Donald Tovey's three-act opera "The Bride of Dionysus," but they could also find themselves grateful that the CD includes only excerpts and not the entire work. The opera's melodies are banal, its harmonies insipid, its inspiration illusive, and its fabrication obvious. Composed inch by inch between 1907 and 1918, Tovey's opera is a carefully considered synthesis of Massenet's melodies, Mendelssohn's counterpoint, and Brahms' harmonies encased in Wagnerian-styled orchestrations. In this way, it resembles sausage, and as such, a little goes a long way. The performers, led by George Vass, are doing their best with the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
Ardent Anglophiles must be grateful for excerpts from Donald Tovey's three-act opera "The Bride of Dionysus," but they could also find themselves grateful that the CD includes only excerpts and not the entire work. The opera's melodies are banal, its harmonies insipid, its inspiration illusive, and its fabrication obvious. Composed inch by inch between 1907 and 1918, Tovey's opera is a carefully considered synthesis of Massenet's melodies, Mendelssohn's counterpoint, and Brahms' harmonies encased in Wagnerian-styled orchestrations. In this way, it resembles sausage, and as such, a little goes a long way. The performers, led by George Vass, are doing their best with the material. If Vass' conducting seems vague, wavering, and indecisive, that is because those are qualities inherent in the work. The Ulster Orchestra's playing is less than satisfying, probably because of the score's complexity and its unfamiliarity. The soloists sound more than somewhat stilted, but the archaic text and demanding tessitura are likely to blame. Superbly recorded in ringing digital sound by Dutton, Tovey's "The Bride of Dionysus" will no doubt be embraced by ardent Anglophiles, but after hearing this recording, it's questionable whether they will embrace her again.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/9/2010
  • Label: Dutton Labs Uk
  • UPC: 765387724122
  • Catalog Number: 7241

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–9 The Bride of Dionysus, opera - Donald Francis Tovey & Michael J. Dutton (77:41)
    Composed byDonald Francis Tovey
    Conducted byGeorge Vass
    Performed byRobert Johnston, Ulster Orchestra, George Vass, Michael Bundy, Yvonne Fontane, Sally Silver, Belfast Philharmonic Choir
    1. 1Act 1. Prelude
    2. 2Act 1. Scene 1
    3. 3Act 2. Part 1. Scenes 6 & 7
    4. 4Act 2. Part 2. Opening
    5. 5Act 2. Part 2. Scenes 10, 11 & 13
    6. 6Act 3. Part 1. Scenes 1 & 5
    7. 7Act 3. Part 2. Scene 6
    8. 8Act 3. Part 2. Scene 7
    9. 9Act 3. Part 2. Scene 9 & Finale
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
George Vass Primary Artist
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