Friday, June 22, 2012

Preview: Revenge!


THREE SNIPPETS OF REVENGE
(EACH PERFORMED THREE TIMES)


(1)
Hell's revenge seethes in my heart!
Death and despair burn all around me.


(2)
Ha Ha! Ha, what a moment!
I will have my revenge!
Your fate calls you!
In his heart roots --
o wonder! -- great fortune.


(3)
HER: But what once with hand
and mouth I swore --
that I swore silently to keep.
HIM: What did you swear, lady?
HER: Revenge for Morold!


by Ken

Yes, we're still getting to know Saint-Saëns's Dalila, and indeed in just a moment we're going to hear a side of her wildly different from anything we heard in last week's preview or the Sunday main post. By way of preparation, I thought this brief digression on operatic avengers would be helpful.

They'll be familiar to most music-lovers, but we'll hear them again, properly identified (including the performers)), in the click-through.

LET'S PROCEED WITH THIS SPECIAL "REVENGE"
EDITION OF SUNDAY CLASSICS



Olga Borodina as Dalila and Juha Uusitalo as the High
Priest in Saint-Saens's Samson et Dalila, San Francisco, 2007


AS I PROMISED, LET'S LISTEN TO OUR REVENGE SNIPS
AGAIN, WITH EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IDENTIFIED


(1) MOZART: The Magic Flute, K. 620: Act II, Queen of the Night, "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" ("Hell's revenge seethes in my heart")": opening
Hell's revenge seethes in my heart!
Death and despair burn all around me.

[a] Edda Moser (s), Queen of the Night; Bavarian State Opera Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch, cond. EMI, recorded August 1972
[b] Lucia Popp (s), Queen of the Night; Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, cond. EMI, recorded Mar.-Apr. 1964
[c] [in English] Roberta Peters (s), Queen of the Night; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Bruno Walter, cond. Live performance, Mar. 3, 1956

(2) BEETHOVEN: Fidelio, Op. 72: Act I, Don Pizarro, "Ha! Welch ein Augenblick" ("Ha! What a moment!"): opening
Ha Ha! Ha, what a moment!
I will have my revenge!
Your fate calls you!
In his heart roots --
o wonder! -- great fortune.

[a] Ekkehard Wlaschiha (b), Don Pizarro; Staatskapelle Dresden, Bernard Haitink, cond. Philips, recorded November 1989
[b] Walter Berry (bs-b), Don Pizarro; Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan, cond. DG, recorded live at the Salzburg Festival, May 25, 1962
[c] Hans Hotter (b), Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Otto Klemperer, cond. Testament, recorded live, Feb. 24, 1961

(3) WAGNER: Tristan und Isolde: Act I excerpt, Isolde-Tristan, "Doch was einst mit Hand und Mund ich gelobt" ("But what once with hand and mouth I swore")
ISOLDE: But what once with hand
and mouth I swore --
that I swore silently to keep.
TRISTAN: What did you swear, lady?
ISOLDE: Revenge for Morold!

[a] Margaret Price (s), Isolde; René Kollo (t), Tristan; Staatskapelle Dresden, Carlos Kleiber, cond. DG, recorded 1980-82
[b] Birgit Nilsson (s), Isolde; Wolfgang Windgassen (t); Bayreuth Festival Orchestra, Karl Böhm, cond. DG, recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival, 1966
[c] Kirsten Flagstad (s), Isolde; Lauritz Melchior (t), Tristan; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Fritz Reiner, cond. Recorded live at Covent Garden, May-June 1936


NOW BACK TO DALILA, AND A SIDE
OF HER WE HAVEN'T HEARD BEFORE


We've heard the Philistine seductress Dalila in her very public pose in the second scene of Act I as the adoring admirer of the Israelite conquering hero Samson, and we've heard her alone at the start of Act II, in front of her home in the Sarek valley, on the other side of the mountains from Gaza, voluptuously invoking love to aid her weakness in the destruction of Samson. There was something mysterious going on there -- anger, certainly, but I argued for deep hurt -- but nothing, I think, to prepare us for what comes out in the ensuing scene with the High Priest, who has huffed and puffed his way across the mountain on the urgent mission to recruit her to extracti from Samson the secret of his superhuman strength. Here's how this scene winds up.

SAINT-SAËNS: Samson et Dalila: Act II, Dalila-High Priest, "Il faut, pour assouvir ma haine" ("It is necessary, to assuage my hatred")
DALILA: It is necessary, to assuage my hatred,
it is necessary that my power enchain him!
I want him, conquered by love,
to bend his brown in his turn!
HIGH PRIEST: I want, to assuage my hatred,
I want for Dalila to enchain him!
It is necessary that, conquered by love,
he bend his brow in his turn!
DALILA: It is necessary, to assuage my hatred,
it is necessary that my power enchain him!
I want him, conquered by love,
to bend his brown in his turn!
HIGH PRIEST: In you alone is my hope;
to you the honor of vengeance! to you!
I want, to assuage my hatred, &c.
DALILA: To me the honor of vengeance!
to me the honor! to me!
It is necessary, to assuage my hatred, &c.
DALILA and the HIGH PRIEST: Let him bend his brow in his turn!
Let us unite! we two!
Let us unite! we two!
Death! Death! Death! Death! Death!
Death to the leader of the Hebrews!
HIGH PRIEST: Samson, you were telling me, is to return to this place?
DALILA: I expect him!
HIGH PRIEST: I'll distance myself; he could surprise us.
Soon I'll come back by secret paths.
The fate of my people, o woman, is in your hands.
Tear away from his heart the impenetrable shield
and discover the secret that hides from us his strength.
[He exits.]

Rita Gorr (ms), Dalila; Ernest Blanc (b), High Priest of Dagon; Orchestra of the Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris, Georges Prêtre, cond. EMI, recorded Sept.-Oct. 1962

Marjana Lipovšek (ms), Dalila; Alain Fondary (b), High Priest of Dagon; Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Sylvain Cambreling, cond. Koch-Schwann, recorded live at the Bregenz Festival, July 21, 1988

Gertrud Wettergren (ms), Dalila; Ezio Pinza (bs), High Priest of Dagon; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Maurice Abravanel, cond. Live performance, Dec. 26, 1936


IN THIS WEEK'S SUNDAY CLASSICS POST

We're going to try to figure out what makes our Dalila tick. We'll also hear fuller versions of our other revenge excerpts.

THE SAMSON ET DALILA SERIES

1. SAMSON

Part 1: Introducing Saint-Saëns' Samson, the second-angriest man in opera [3/11/2012]
Chorus and quartet from Act I of Rossini's William Tell
"Arrêtez, ô mes frères" sung by José Luccioni, Mario del Monaco, Plácido Domingo, José Cura, and Jon Vickers
Preview: These two Mystery Openings introduce works that I for one can't wait to hear more of [3/9/2012]
Samson excerpts sung by Georges Thill, Mario del Monaco, Plácido Domingo, Ramón Vinay, and Jon Vickers; plus excerpts from Ponchielli's La Gioconda and Verdi's Otello

Part 2: Let's hear how Samson rallies his people [3/25/2012]
Performances by Jon Vickers, Carlo Cossutta, et al., conducted by Georges Prêtre, Sylvain Cambreling, et al.
Preview: How we get to Samson's heroic first utterance [3/24/2012]
Performances of the opening conducted by Daniel Barenboim and Colin Davis; "Arrêtez, ô mes frères" sung by José Luccioni, Ludovic Spiess, Mario del Monaco

Part 3: Some mighty angry Israelites and Philistines -- the opening scene of Samson et Dalila, part 3 [4/29/2012]
The Abimélech and High Priest scenes, with Ezio Flagello, Simon Estes, Alexander Malta, and Yves Bisson (Abimélech); Paul Cabanel, Renato Bruson, Ezio Pinza, Robet Merrill, and Ernest Blanc (High Priest); Plácido Domingo, José Luccioni, Mario del Monaco, René Maison, Jon Vickers, James King, and Carlo Cossutta (Samson). The complete opening scene conducted by Louis Fourestier (1946, with Luccioni, Charles Cambon, Cabanel) and Georges Prêtre (1962, with Vickers, Anton Diakov, Blanc)

2. DALILA

Meet Saint-Saëns's Dalila [6/17/2012]
Second half of Act I with Louise Homer, Marjana Lipovšek, Elena Obraztsova, Risë Stevens, Maria Callas, Christa Ludwig, and Rita Gorr as Dalila; Enrico Caruso, Plácido Domingo, Mario del Monaco, and Jon Vickers as Samson; Marcel Journet, Harald Stamm, Robert Lloyd, Giorgio Tozzi, Richard Kogel, and Anton Diakov as the Old Hebrew (plus Alain Fondary and Ernest Blanc as the High Priest)
Preview: In which we hear a lady weighted by a heap of hurt [6/15/2012]
"Amour, viens aider ma faiblesse" sung by Maria Callas, Christa Ludwig, and Marjana Lipovšek


IN THIS WEEK'S SUNDAY CLASSICS POST --

More of our operatic avengers.
#

No comments:

Post a Comment