Massenet: Manon

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
Sir Thomas Beecham, the quick-witted English conductor, claimed that he'd gladly trade in all of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos for Massenet's opera Manon. Of course, Beecham was playing the provocateur -- a role he relished -- at a time a half century ago when Massenet's music was though to be insipid and jejune. Yet to the contrary, Massenet is among the most charming of composers, as many opera lovers are discovering. Sopranos certainly are not willing to part with Manon, a particularly toothsome role that combines sensuality, elegance, and pathos into a brew that -- in the right hands -- can be as delectable as, say, Puccini's La Bohème. Indeed, Renée Fleming,...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
Sir Thomas Beecham, the quick-witted English conductor, claimed that he'd gladly trade in all of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos for Massenet's opera Manon. Of course, Beecham was playing the provocateur -- a role he relished -- at a time a half century ago when Massenet's music was though to be insipid and jejune. Yet to the contrary, Massenet is among the most charming of composers, as many opera lovers are discovering. Sopranos certainly are not willing to part with Manon, a particularly toothsome role that combines sensuality, elegance, and pathos into a brew that -- in the right hands -- can be as delectable as, say, Puccini's La Bohème. Indeed, Renée Fleming, America's reigning diva, has admitted outright that this is her favorite role of all. Listening to this live recording from the Opéra National de Paris, one understands her choice, for Massenet, like Richard Strauss another Fleming specialty, knew how to make the soprano voice sparkle and shimmer. Manon is a coquette who slays every man who comes into contact with her; she is a force of nature, in a way, a creature of passion, yet she is also quite delicate. Fleming encompasses all of these traits, drawing in the listener as well as her suitors with sweetness and velvet. Her ardor is palpable in the marvelous Saint-Sulpice scene in the second half of Act III, as she lures her lover Des Grieux out of the seminary where he went to escape her wiles. Des Grieux is also a terrific role, one that lyric voices have prized for a century now. Marcelo Álvarez emphasizes the young aristocrat's sensitive side, crooning his arias in a dreamy pianissimo. The rest of the cast is also fine, particularly the firm Lescaut of Jean-Luc Chaignaud. Perhaps Antonio Pappano, who conducts the EMI recording with Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna, elicits more sparkle from his orchestra, but Jésus López-Cobos offers more than sufficient theatrical flair, and one can feel the extra frisson of a live performance here that's missing in the otherwise excellent EMI version. The audience is well behaved throughout, though they applaud enthusiastically at the ends of scenes and acts. Note, too, that a DVD is being released of this same production, for those who want to enjoy the visual element.
Classic FM Magazine - Warwick Thompson
[Fleming] reaches new vocal and theatrical heights. Tenor Marcelo Álvarez is equally impressive as her tormented lover des Grieux
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/28/2003
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969045824
  • Catalog Number: 90458

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–72 Manon, comic opera in 5 acts - Jules Massenet & Jeremy Caulton (154:58)
    Composed byJules Massenet
    Conducted byJesús López-Cobos
    Performed byJean-Luc Chaignaud, Jesús López-Cobos, Renée Fleming, Delphine Haidan, Paris National Opera Orchestra, Michel Sénéchal, Alain Vernhes, Marcelo Álvarez, Franck Ferrari, Jaël Azzaretti, Isabelle Cals, Nigel Smith
    1. 1Prélude
    2. 2Act 1. Holà! Hé! Monsieur l'hôtelier!
    3. 3Act 1. Hors-d'ouvres de choix!
    4. 4Act 1. C'est très bien de dîner! Il faut aussi payer!
    5. 5Act 1. Les voilà! Les voilà! Les voilà!
    6. 6Act 1. Eh! j'imagine que cette belle enfant, c'est Manon
    7. 7Act 1. Je suis encor tout étourdie
    8. 8Act 1. Attendez-moi, soyez bien sage
    9. 9Act 1. Il vous parlait, Manon?
    10. 10Act 1. Regardez-moi bien dans les yeux!
    11. 11Act 1. Restons ici, puisqu'il le faut!
    12. 12Act 1. Voyons, Manon, plus de chimères!
    13. 13Act 1. Quelqu'un! - J'ai marqué l'heure du départ
    14. 14Act 1. Mademoiselle! - Eh, quoi?
    15. 15Act 1. Ah! parlez-moi! - Je ne suis qu'une pauvre fille
    16. 16Act 1. Nous vivrons à Paris tous les deux!
    17. 17Act 2. Prélude
    18. 18Act 2. Manon! - Avez-vous peur
    19. 19Act 2. Il ne te suffit pas alors de nous aimer?
    20. 20Act 2. Deux gardes du corps sont là
    21. 21Act 2. Lescaut, vous montrez trop de zèle
    22. 22Act 2. Je venais d'écrire à mon père
    23. 23Act 2. C'est parfait, on ne peut mieux dire
    24. 24Act 2. Allons! Il le faut! Pour lui-même!
    25. 25Act 2. Adieu, notre petit table
    26. 26Act 2. C'est lui! Que ma pâleur ne me trahisse pas!
    27. 27Act 2. En fermant les yeux je vois là-bas
    28. 28Act 2. Oh ciel! Déjà! - Quelqu'un?
    29. 29Act 3. Scene 1. Voyez, mules à fleurettes
    30. 30Act 3. Scene 1. Choisir, e pourquoi?
    31. 31Act 3. Scene 1. Ô Rosalinde, il me faudrait gravir le Pinde
    32. 32Act 3. Scene 1. Bonjour, Poussette!
    33. 33Act 3. Scene 1. Voici les élégantes
    34. 34Act 3. Scene 1. Je marche sur tous les chemins
    35. 35Act 3. Scene 1. Gavotte. Obéissons quand leur voix appelle
    36. 36Act 3. Scene 1. Et maintenant restez seul un instant
    37. 37Act 3. Scene 1. Je ne me trompe pas, le comte Des Grieux?
    38. 38Act 3. Scene 1. Oui, c'est Manon!
    39. 39Act 3. Scene 1. Répondez-moi, Guillot!
    40. 40Act 3. Scene 1. Voici l'Opéra
    41. 41Act 3. Divertissement. Ballet. Préamble. La Présentation - L'Opéra! Voici l'Opéra!
    42. 42Act 3. Divertissement. Ballet. Première Entrée
    43. 43Act 3. Divertissement. Ballet. Deuxième Entrée
    44. 44Act 3. Divertissement. Ballet. Troisième Entrée
    45. 45Act 3. Divertissement. Ballet. Quatrième Entrée. Non, sa vie à la mienne est pour jamais liée!
    46. 46Act 3. Scene 2. Quelle éloquence, l'admirable orateur!
    47. 47Act 3. Scene 2. C'est lui! C'est l'abbé Des Grieux!
    48. 48Act 3. Scene 2. Épouse quelque brave fille
    49. 49Act 3. Scene 2. Je suis seul! seul enfin!
    50. 50Act 3. Scene 2. Ah! fuyez, douce image
    51. 51Act 3. Scene 2. Ces murs silencieux
    52. 52Act 3. Scene 2. Pardonnez-moi, Dieu de toute-puissance
    53. 53Act 3. Scene 2. Toi! Vous! - Oui, c'est moi!
    54. 54Act 3. Scene 2. Ah! perfide Manon!
    55. 55Act 3. Scene 2. N'est-ce plus ma main que cette main presse?
    56. 56Act 4. Faites vos jeux, messieurs, faites vos jeux!
    57. 57Act 4. Mais qui donc nous arrive et fait tout ce tapage?
    58. 58Act 4. Faites vos jeux, messieurs, faites vos jeux!
    59. 59Act 4. La fortune n'est intraitable
    60. 60Act 4. Un mot, s'il vous plaît, chevalier!
    61. 61Act 4. Ce bruit de l'or
    62. 62Act 4. Au jeu! Au jeu!
    63. 63Act 4. J'arrête la partie!
    64. 64Act 4. Le coupable est monsieur
    65. 65Act 4. Oui, je viens t'arracher à la honte
    66. 66Act 5. Manon! pauvre Manon!
    67. 67Act 5. Je ne vous trompe pas!
    68. 68Act 5. Ah! Des Grieux! - Ô Manon!
    69. 69Act 5. Assez! - Je me hais et maudis
    70. 70Act 5. Nous reparlerons du passé
    71. 71Act 5. Ah! le beau diamant!
    72. 72Act 5. N'est-ce plus ma main que cette main presse?
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Marcelo Álvarez Primary Artist
Renée Fleming Primary Artist
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