Monday, September 7, 2009

Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Aria - Opera Without Words

Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Aria - Opera Without Words
Piano | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 1 CD, 175 MB
February 13, 2007 | Decca | RapidShare

French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet has had a lifelong devotion to vocal repertoire, and it was inevitable that he would record an "opera without words" program. He is co-arranger of several selections on this disc, which is dedicated by Thibaudet to all the singers with whom he has performed. Listened to in one sitting, the disc is perhaps too much of a good thing. Savored a couple of tracks at a time, however, it offers considerable pleasure. Among today's big-name pianists, Thibaudet is one of those most frequently praised for "singing tone." He displays it exquisitely throughout this program, beginning with the initial track, a fantasy on two arias from Samson et Dalila. Among the other tracks, a few do disappointingly little to enhance what one would find in a piano-vocal score ("Vissi d'arte" is an obvious example). On the other hand, Thibaudet's full technical arsenal is magisterially deployed in "Soirée de Vienne," a concoction of Johann Strauss waltz themes including that of Die Fledermaus; a "sonata-fantasy" based on Madama Butterfly -- at 12 minutes, the longest track on the disc; and Louis Brassin's formidable arrangement of the "Ride of the Valkyries," which Thibaudet tosses off with staggering ease. -- Roger Pines

Fantasy on Two Themes (Samson et Dalila) (06:55)
Ramble on the Last Love Duet (Der Rosenkavalier) (07:27)
O mio babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi) (02:53)
Glück, das mir verblieb (Die tote Stadt) (06:07)
Soirée de Vienne: Concert paraphrase on waltz themes by Johann Strauss (05:41)
Vissi d'arte (Tosca) (03:25)
Casta diva (Norma) (06:59)
Mélodie (Orphée et Eurydice) (03:25)
Madame Butterfly: An operatic sonata-fantasy on themes of Puccini in four parts (12:18)
The Ride of the Valkyries (05:07)

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