Méhul: Uthal

Ediciones Singulares: ES1026

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Méhul: Uthal


Presto Disc of the Week

24th February 2017

Gramophone Awards 2017

Shortlisted - Opera

Catalogue No:




Release date:

24th Feb 2017




60 minutes


CD + Book (download also available)

Summer Opera Sale

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Méhul: Uthal

Karine Deshayes (Malvina), Yann Beuron (Uthal), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Larmor), Sébastien Droy (Ullin), Philippe-Nicolas Martin (Le Chef des Bardes / Le Troisième Barde), Reinoud Van Mechelen (Le Premier Barde), Artavazd Sargsyan (Le Deuxième Barde) & Jacques-Greg Belobo (Le Quatrième Barde)

Les Talens Lyriques & Choeur de Chambre de Namur, Christophe Rousset

CD + Book

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(also available to download from $10.00)

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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

CD + Book

Prompted by the success of Ossian’s poetry during the First Empire, the Opéra-Comique commissioned from Méhul a short and gripping work inspired by James Macpherson’s Celtic reveries. The composer had the brilliant idea of conjuring up the mists of this Scottish fantasy world in his music by using the ‘grisaille’ sonority of an orchestra without violins. The Gothic coloration of wind instruments with divided violas, the melancholy poetry of the harp and solo horn that frequently emerge from the tutti, contrast with the choruses of warriors and the belligerent strains of Larmor and Uthal. The Hymn to Sleep, an eminently Romantic bardic song, came to be seen as one of Méhul’s finest pieces, and was sung over his grave by the Conservatoire students at his funeral in 1817.

Contents of the book (in FR & EN)

Gérard Condé, ‘Uthal’ de Méhul

Hector Berlioz, Méhul dans ‘Les Soirées de l’orchestre’

Étienne-Nicolas Méhul, Quelques réflexions

Bins de Saint-Victor, Dédicace et préface du livret

Journal de Paris, Compte-rendu de la création

Arthur Pougin, Quelques mots sur ‘Uthal’


1 book + 1 CDs – total time: 60’40

Book: hard cover, 140 pages, size 13,5 cm x 21,00 cm, French and English

Limited and numbered edition of 3500

Étienne Nicolas Méhul: Uthal


Scene 1: Dialogue: Malvina! ma fille! (Malvina, Larmor)

Scene 1: Air and Duet: Ombres de mes aïeux (Malvina, Larmor)

Scene 1: Dialogue: Ma fille, il n'est pas loin le jour (Malvina, Larmor)

Scene 1: Le grand Fingal, pour punir (Malvina, Larmor, Bardes, Guerriers)

Scene 2: Nous bravons les tempêtes (Guerriers)

Scene 2: Dialogue: Ô combien votre aspect (Malvina, Larmor, Ullin, Bardes, Guerriers)

Scene 2: Vers le palais (Malvina, Larmor, Ullin, Bardes, Guerriers)

Scene 3: Recitative: Quoi! ce combat affreux (Malvina, Les Bardes)

Scene 3: Ô de Selma! (Malvina, Les Bardes)

Scene 3: Dialogue: Où chercher un appui (Malvina)

Scenes 4 and 5: Recitative and romance: Quoi! je la cherche en vain! (Uthal)

Scenes 4 and 5: Dialogue: Larmor! (Malvina, Uthal)

Scenes 4 and 5: Duet: Uthal! (Malvina, Uthal)

Scenes 6 and 7: Dialogue: En croirai-je mes yeux? (Malvina, Uthal, Larmor, Ullin, Bardes, Guerriers)

Scenes 6 and 7: Braves vengeurs (Malvina, Larmor, Ullin, Bardes, Guerriers)

Scenes 8 and 9: Recitative: C'en est fait (Malvina, Bardes)

Scenes 8 and 9: Près de Balva (Malvina, Le Chef des Bardes, Bardes)

Scenes 8 and 9: Dialogue: Mon père! (Malvina, Larmor, Bardes)

Scene 10: Réjouis-toi, Morven (Guerriers)

Scene 10: Dialogue: Enfin j'ai le pouvoir de venger (Malvina, Uthal, Larmor, Bardes, Guerriers)

Scene 10: Final: Doux moment! (Malvina, Uthal, Ullin, Larmor, Bardes, Guerriers)

Presto Classical

24th February 2017

“In the hands of Christophe Rousset, the stormy prelude (and indeed everything that follows) simply crackles with energy, particularly in the incisive, turbulent string-writing...All in all, this lovingly and lavishly documented new set makes a strong case for a reappraisal of a composer once described as ‘The First Romantic’.”

The Guardian

23rd February 2017


“Méhul’s score is initially intriguing in its dark-tinted, violin-less soundworld, and forward-looking, too – the storm overture, all buzzing violas and wheeling woodwind, isn’t a million miles from Wagner’s Die Walküre...Christophe Rousset’s crisp-sounding orchestra brings the score to life.”

Gramophone Magazine

March 2017

“Speech and song are seemlessly integrated here, maintaining both dramatic tension and consistency of characterisation throughout. It's hard to imagine a better bicentenary tribute: do listen to it.”

BBC Music Magazine

June 2017


“Yann Beuron is the keenly engaged Uthal, while Jean-Sébastien Bou gives Larmor a wronged nobility and Karine Deshayes is consistently expressive as the anguished Malvina. There’s characterful work from the period instrument players of Les Talens Lyriques, while Christophe Rousset emphasises the drama inherent in the music”

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