Gods, Kings & Demons

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
Gods, Kings & Demons sums up René Pape's favored operatic characters in a succinct, juicy title. Pape (pronounced like "papa") has earned plaudits for his performances of German, Italian, French, and Russian roles: King Marke, Don Carlo, Méphistophélès, and Boris Godunov among them. He fairly owns these parts nowadays, and this album -- the German bass's long overdue CD recital debut on the Deutsche Grammophon label -- presents key moments for each of them. Verdi's "Ella giammai m'amo" from Don Carlo, as noble and moving on disc as it is in the theater, is a clear album highlight, while the monologue from Act II of Wagner's Tristan and the pair of arias from Gounod's ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
Gods, Kings & Demons sums up René Pape's favored operatic characters in a succinct, juicy title. Pape (pronounced like "papa") has earned plaudits for his performances of German, Italian, French, and Russian roles: King Marke, Don Carlo, Méphistophélès, and Boris Godunov among them. He fairly owns these parts nowadays, and this album -- the German bass's long overdue CD recital debut on the Deutsche Grammophon label -- presents key moments for each of them. Verdi's "Ella giammai m'amo" from Don Carlo, as noble and moving on disc as it is in the theater, is a clear album highlight, while the monologue from Act II of Wagner's Tristan and the pair of arias from Gounod's Faust convey a similar strength and beauty of tone. Among these familiar numbers, Pape intersperses some rarities, including selections from operas by Boito and Dvorak, as well as Rubinstein's obscure The Demon. Perhaps this neglected work will receive a fuller hearing some day with Pape as its champion. Meanwhile, one track points to a more certain future: one of Wotan's monologues from Das Rheingold. Pape has saved this imposing role, the chief god of Wagner's Ring Cycle, for later in his career, promising to tackle it onstage soon. The mouthwatering snippet offered here heralds great things still to come from this magnificent singer.
All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Bass René Pape has been a highly visible presence on the international opera scene since the early '90s, so it's surprising that this release is his first solo album. It includes some of his signature roles from Wagner and Verdi, as well as some selections from more obscure operas and roles he hasn't yet sung onstage. The title, Gods, Kings, & Demons, aptly reflects the character of the majority of bass roles in opera. In this collection, the demons get the bulk of the attention. Pape includes excerpts from three of the big "Faust" operas -- "Faust," "Mefistofele," and "La Damnation de Faust" Busoni's Mephistopheles is a tenor -- as well as Rubinstein's "Demon" and Dvorák's "Rusalka." The variety of these depictions of the malevolent is a testimony to both the composers' inventiveness and Pape's dramatic gifts. The two selections from "Faust," "Le veau d'or" and "Vous qui faites l'endormie," demonstrate Pape's ability to color his voice and shape his delivery to convey the complexity of the character of Méphistophélès. The arias from Rubinstein's "Demon," an opera Pape loves, are so gorgeous and Pape's performance of them is so sumptuous that it's a shame he's never had a chance to record or perform the complete opera. He also excels in expressing the emotional turmoil of Verdi's King Philip and Wagner's King Mark and Boris Godunov. Pape's approach is understated and intelligent; he doesn't need to shout or overact to convey feelings of great intensity. His voice is large and dark, but he uses it colorfully, according to the dramatic requirements of each role. Sebastian Weigle leads theStaatskeppelle Dresden and Staatsopernchor Dresden in performances of exceptional energy and refinement. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is clear and warm, with excellent balance.
New York Times - Anthony Tommasini
That the German bass René Pape is one of the most compelling artists to have emerged internationally in the last 15 years is proved again by his phenomenal singing on his new recording.
Gramophone - John Steane
Pape's singing here is altogether admirable in its sonority, firmness and command of the legato line. He has a natural dignity of utterance and his diction is exceptionally clear, sampled on this record in five languages.
Classic FM Magazine
I defy anyone to hear the relatively rarely recorded, but spine-tinglingly sumptuous, arias from Anton Rubinstein’s opera The Demon without melting into a heap.

That the German bass René Pape is one of the most compelling artists to have emerged internationally in the last 15 years is proved again by his phenomenal singing on his new recording.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/11/2008
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • UPC: 028947764083
  • Catalog Number: 001223902
  • Sales rank: 1,240

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Faust, opera: Act 2. Le veau d'or est toujours debout / Ronde du - Charles Gounod & Jules Barbier (2:03)
    Composed byCharles Gounod
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden State Opera Chorus, Dresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle, Ulrich Paetzholdt
  2. 2 Faust, opera: Act 4. Sérénade. Vous qui faites l'endormie - Charles Gounod & Jules Barbier (2:49)
    Composed byCharles Gounod
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  3. 3 Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Act 2. Ballata. Ecco il mondo, vuoto e tondo - Arrigo Boito & Arrigo Boito (2:25)
    Composed byArrigo Boito
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  4. 4 La Damnation de Faust, for mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, chorus and orchestra, ("légende dramatique") H. 111 (Op. 24): Part 2. Aria. Voici des roses - Hector Berlioz & Hector Berlioz (2:57)
    Composed byHector Berlioz
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  5. 5 Don Carlo, opera: Act 4. Scena e Cantabile. Ella giammai m'amò! - Do - Giuseppe Verdi & Dresden Staatskapelle (10:39)
    Composed byGiuseppe Verdi
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  6. 6 Les contes d'Hoffmann, opera in 4 acts: Act 4. Giulietta / Chanson. Scintille, diamant - Jacques Offenbach & Jules Barbier (2:48)
    Composed byJacques Offenbach
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  7. 7 Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold), opera, WWV 86a: Scene 4. Abendlich strahlt der Sonne Auge - Richard Wagner & Richard Wagner (4:01)
    Composed byRichard Wagner
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  8. 8 Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90: Act 2. Tatest du's wirklich? Wähnst du das? - Richard Wagner & Richard Wagner (13:41)
    Composed byRichard Wagner
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  9. 9 The Demon (Der Dämon), opera: Act 2. Romance. Na vozdusnom okeane - Anton Rubinstein & Dresden Staatskapelle (5:09)
    Composed byAnton Rubinstein
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  10. 10 The Demon (Der Dämon), opera: Act 2. Romance. Ne plac, ditya - Anton Rubinstein & Dresden Staatskapelle (2:46)
    Composed byAnton Rubinstein
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  11. 11 Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Act 2. Beda! Beda! - Celý svet nedá ti - Antonin Dvorák & Dresden Staatskapelle (5:36)
    Composed byAntonin Dvorák
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle
  12. 12 Boris Godunov, opera (Rimsky-Korsakov edition): Act 4. Oy, dusno, dusno! - Proscay, moy sin / Deat - Modest Mussorgsky & Modest Mussorgsky (10:34)
    Composed byModest Mussorgsky
    Conducted bySebastian Weigle
    Performed byDresden State Opera Chorus, Dresden Staatskapelle, René Pape, Sebastian Weigle, Ulrich Paetzholdt, Carl-Johann Winkler
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
René Pape Primary Artist
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