Stravinsky - Oedipus Rex/Apollon Musagete
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the London Symphony Orchestra on this his first release for LSO Live, offering Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Apollon musagète. Also performing on the release are the Gentlemen of the Monteverdi Choir, considered one of the world’s leading choirs, and a mix of international and home-grown soloists, including Jennifer Johnston and Stuart Skelton. The French actress Fanny Ardant, who has appeared in more than fifty motion pictures, takes the role of narrator.
Both Oedipus Rex and Apollon musagète are works based on ancient Greek themes. The rich string harmonies and textures of the ballet Apollon musagète are pleasantly mesmerizing, expressive, and calmly indulgent. In contrast, the dramatic and hauntingly compelling opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex is composed of an assemblage of monumental and powerful sounds, such as playful woodwinds, robust brass, and agile strings, with magnificent contributions from the choir and soloists.
"... This is a beautiful performance."
John Warrack - Gramophone magazine - July 2014
Music **** (Very Good) Sound **** (Very Good)
Giselher Schubert - Fono Forum magazine (Germany) - July 2014
"... there is so much to admire in this performance. The male chorus sings the latin text in the opening chorus not only as if it understands the words (which I presume it does), but invests the text with a dramatic intensity that auggests it actually cares as well... Stuart Skelton is a very good Oedipus. Expressive and accurate ... Jennifer Johnston’s Jocasta is one of the most convincing performancesof the role I’ve heard on record... With its unflagging direction, its strong sense of drama and its mostly impeccable singing, Gardiner is a serious contender for anyone wanting a version to put alongside these classic versions... there’s an alertness and zest to Gardiner’s reading that I like very much."
Nigel Simeone - International Record Review - June 2014
**** - Excellent
Giuseppe Rossi - Musica magazine (Italy) - May 2014