Henze: Boulevard Solitude

EuroArts: 2056358

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Henze: Boulevard Solitude

Label:

EuroArts

Catalogue No:

2056358

Discs:

1

Release date:

28th Aug 2007

Barcode:

0880242563583

Medium:

DVD Video

Format:

NTSC

Region:

all

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Henze: Boulevard Solitude

Directed for Stage by Nikolaus Lehnhoff


Laura Aikin, Pär Lindskog, Tom Fox, Marc Canturri Hubert Delamboye & Pauls Putninš

Zoltán Peskó

Recorded live at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 2–3 March 2007

DVD Video

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BBC Music Magazine

January 2008

****

“Henze's first opera, premiered in 1952, already has the wide-ranging melodic lines and rich harmonies, the rhythmic drive and jazz inflexions of his mature style. Laura Aikin and Pär Lindskog play the ill-fated principals with complete confidence and accuracy: The camera-work sensitively mirrors Lehnhoff's direction.”

Gramophone Classical Music Guide

2010

“The sceptical voices were disappointingly persistent when the Royal Opera's reopening season in 2000 staged the UK premiere of Henze's first opera. Could a 90-minute one-acter by a 26-year-old hold attention, and fill seats? That it did so, and eventually did so triumphantly, was a measure not only of the composer's precocious theatrical gifts but of Nikolaus Lehnhoff's production, which held faith with the decision of Henze and his librettist Grete Weil to update Prévost's story to the period of its premiere in 1952. The action centres around a grand central railway station, full of the impersonal grandeur and busy movement of human flotsam and jetsam that are the natural property of such places.
Billy Wilder and Henri-Georges Clouzot make their mark on the continual cutting between scenes; Xavi Bové's direction for video is unusually subtle, taking full advantage of Henze's extended intermezzi to watch clocks and art-deco pillars.
Bernhard Kontarsky's pacing was tighter in London, catching more of the clickety-clack of Henze's percussion writing but Peskó and the Liceu band are up to the mark, letting the sly allusions to jazz and Weill in the intermezzi live on borrowed time. Henze's Manon is knowingly self-condemned from the outset, one feels, with greater self-possession than her literary and operatic ancestors from Prévost to Puccini. Not that that makes for static loss of drama or fulfilment, when her story gradually cedes to the hopeless infatuation of des Grieux. Laura Aikin is a strong, sluttish Manon, fuller of voice and more voluptuous of figure than the devastating femme fatale of Alexandra von der Weth at Covent Garden. Both steal the show in their own way, as Lulus deserve to.
Pär Lindskog reprises his central role, at least as much Rodolfo as Alwa. Tom Fox as Lescaut could afford to bluster and shout a little less, but the smaller roles always bear the composer's legato lines in mind. Henze takes a bow at the end, and it must have been moving for him to see how his forgotten child has grown up and stood on his own feet.”

Gramophone Magazine

December 2007

“…Nikolaus Lehnhoff's production… held faith with the decision of Henze and his librettist Grete Weil to update Prévost's story to the period of its premiere in 1952. The action centre around a grand central railway stations, full of the impersonal grandeur and busy movement of human flotsam and jetsam that are the natural property of such places. ...Peskó and the Lieceu band are up to the mark, letting the sly allusions to jazz and Weill in the intermezzi live on borrowed time. Laura Aikin is a strong sluttish Manon, fuller of voice and more voluptuous of figure than the devastating femme fatale of Alexandra van der Weth at Covent Garden. Both steal the show in their own way, as Lulus deserve to.”

The Independent

“…they have hit the operatic jackpot: an intelligent production that should appeal to anyone with a broad interest in 20th-century music, cinema, theatre, art or design.”

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