Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle - Gardner

Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle - Gardner

Chandos  CHSA 5237

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Opera

Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle

John Relyea (Bluebeard/Kékszakállú)
Michelle DeYoung (Judit)
Pál Mácsai (speaker)
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Edward Gardner (conductor)

Following outstanding reviews for his interpretation of Duke Bluebeard around the world, notably at the Paris Opéra and then in Philadelphia and New York with Michelle DeYoung, John Relyea stars in the first studio SACD Surround Sound recording of Bartók’s psychological thriller.

The two protagonists are joined by Edward Gardner and his Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hungarian actor Pál Mácsai who delivers the Prologue, the work being sung in the original Hungarian.

Bartók’s only opera, Bluebeard’s Castle was composed in 1911 and is based on a libretto by Béla Balázs (a room-mate of Kodály), which met Bartók’s desire for a subject that was modern, but drawn from traditional culture. Of their recent performance at Carnegie Hall, the critics said: ‘Ms. DeYoung’s singing had radiant bloom and molten intensity, which conveyed Judith’s youthful naiveté as well as her wilful determination.’ - New York Times

‘Relyea was superb, … with his … firm, deep and incisive voice, he delivered a thrilling portrayal that fully displayed Bluebeard’s transformation from laconic to impassioned.’ – Classical Source

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Comments (3)

Comment by Jan Arell - August 20, 2019 (1 of 3)

Is this really the first SACD surround recording of Bartok's opera as Chandos claims? I have a recording conducted by Ivan Fischer, first released as a conventional CD by Philips in the early 00's, later as SACD surround by Channel. Or is that some kind of up-mix?

EDIT: Obviously Philips released the Fischer recording as an SACD a few years later, in 2005. It seems it was later licensed to Channel. Anyway, it seems to me that Chandos's marketing people has got this wrong. Please correct me if I'm wrong in any details.

Comment by GROOT GELUID - August 22, 2019 (2 of 3)

No you are right. The Philips recording with BFO and Ivan Fischer is a true DSD surround recording made by Hein Dekker and myself. We had journalists of several audio magazines visiting the sessions.

Comment by DYB - August 22, 2019 (3 of 3)

Gergiev also recorded the work on LSO live and it is in multichannel.

As far as Gardner's set, I'm sorry to say Michelle DeYoung is one of my least favorite singers. Yet she keeps recording this work (she has ruined countless Mahler 2 and 3s, as well as Brangaenes. Now here she is again. I guess I'll at least save some money.)