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LS 0685
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LS 0685

Bartok: Bluebeard's Castle

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2009

Originally recorded in 2009


London Symphony Orchestra

Valery Gergiev

Willard White

bass baritone

Elena Zhidkova



Barbican Centre, London


James Mallinson

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 58:46
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Bluebeard's Castle

  (1911, rev 1912, 1918 and 1921)  
1 Prologue and introduction 15:22
2 First Door: Bluebeard's Torture Chamber 4:19
3 Second Door: The Armoury 4:16
4 Third Door: The Treasury 2:14
5 Fourth Door: The Garden 4:31
6 Fifth Door: Bluebeard's Vast and Beautiful Kingdom 6:05
7 Sixth Door: The Lake of Tears 13:30
8 Seventh Door: Bluebeard's Wives 8:29

Valery Gergiev is joined by two outstanding singers for his latest LSO Live release featuring Bartok’s one-act opera.
Despite being one of the greatest ever interpreters of the role of Bluebeard on stage, this is Sir Willard White’s first complete recording of Bluebeard’s Castle. His Judith is the outstanding young Russian-born, Berlin-based mezzo Elena Zhidkova.


"I had not heard Gergiev apply his magic to Bartok before, and the results are stunning. Everything is perfection..." "The SIngers are superbly directed; both supply rich, potent voices that produce highly dramatic portrayals without ever sacrificing beauty of tone. White is one of the outstanding bass-baritones of this era, and he has never demonstrated it more vividly, unleashing huge waves of perfectly controlled tone. I am less familiar with Zhidkova; her shining mezzo illuminates the performance. They invest their roles with sympathetic personalities; seldom have Bluebeard and his Judith seemed so believable, so real."

"...The recorded sound is amazingly sucessful in balancing voices and orchestra; neither is ever slighted, and there are many moments where details of the accompaniment are clarified as never before."

James H North

Fanfare - January/February 2010

"All the restless qualities of the underlying and shadowy string themes are sketched in an appropriately unsettling way. Vitally for this score, the woodwind figures add their eerie colours and decorative dissonance to great effect, the clarinet making a particularly telling contribution – wonderful playing... Orchestral textures are remarkably clear and Bartók’s highly individual percussive effects make their full impact. Gergiev is most considerate to his singers, even at the most grandiose and loud moments."

"Gergiev’s Bluebeard passes beyond shattering into a realm even more deeply disturbing"
                                    Disc of the Month

Opera Magazine

“Bartok’s only opera is a dark and intense work, involving only two characters. Bluebeard’s young bride persuades him to open seven doors in his castle in order to let light into the grim interior. Behind each she finds increasingly disturbing sights, until behind the final door she discovers Bluebeard’s former wives and learns her fate.”
*** Opera Choice of the Month ***

BBC Music Magazine

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