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Fleming, Hampson, Sabbatini, Palatchi: Massenet – Thaïs (FLAC)

Fleming, Hampson, Sabbatini, Palatchi:  Massenet - Thaïs (FLAC)

Fleming, Hampson, Sabbatini, Palatchi: Massenet – Thaïs (FLAC)

Composer: Jules Emile Frederic Massenet
Performer: Stefano Palatchi, David Grousset, Renée Fleming, Marie Devellereau, Renaud Capuçon, Enkelejda Shkosa, Olivier Schock, Thomas Hampson, Giuseppe Sabbatini, José Luis Victoria, Isabelle Cals, Bernard Mansencal, Bruno Moga, Loïc Cassin
Orchestra: Bordeaux Aquitaine National Orchestra
Conductor: Yves Abel
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Decca
Catalogue: 4667662
Release: 2000
Size: 597 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

Thaïs
CD 01
Acte Un
01. Voici le pain
02. Le voici! Le voici!
03. Hélas! enfant encore
04. Nous nous mêlons jamais, mon fils
05. Vision …Honte! Horreur!
06. Toi, qui mis la pitié dans nos âmes
07. Mon fils, nous nous mêlons jamais
08. Prélude (Deuxième Tableau)
09. Va, mendiant chercher ailleirs ta vie!
10. Voilà donc la terrible cité
11. “Ah! Ah! Ah!…Athanaël, c’est toi!”
12. “Ah! Ah! Ah!…Je vais donc te revoir”
13. Garde-toi bien! Voici ta terrible ennemie!
14. C’est Thaïs, l’idole fragile
15. Quel est cet étranger
16. Qui te fait si sévère
17. Non! Non! je hais vos fausses ivresses

Acte Deux
18. Ah! je suis seule, seule enfin!
19. Dis-moi que je suis belle
20. Etranger, te voilà comme tu l’avais dit
21. Eh bien, fais-moi connaître tou cet amour
22. Je suis Athanaël, moine d’Antinoé
23. Je n’ai pas plus choisi mon sort que ma nature
24. Méditation religieuse – Symphonie

CD 02
Acte Deux
01. Père, Dieu m’a parlé par ta voix
02. Non loin d’ici, vers l’occident
03. Considère, ô mon père
04. Suivez-moi tous, amis!
05. Divertissement: 1. Allegro vivo
06. Divertissement: 2. Mélopée orientale
07. Divertissement: 3. Allegro brillante
08. Divertissement: 4. Allegretto con spirito
09. Divertissement: 5. Mouvement de valse
10. Voilà l’incomparable!…Divertissement: 6 La Charmeuse
11. Divertissement: 7. Finale
12. Eh! C’est lui!…Athanaël
13. Il dit vrai!

Acte Trois
14. L’ardent soleil m’écrase
15. “Ah! des gouttes de sang coulent de ses pieds”
16. O messager de Dieu, si bon dans ta rudesse
17. Baigne d’eau mes mains et mes lèvres
18. La paix du Seigneur soit avec toi
19. Mon oeuvre est accomplie!
20. Que le ciel est pesant!
21. C’est lui qui vient!
22. Qui te fait si sévère
23. Thaïs va mourir!
24. Seigneur, ayez pitié de moi
25. Sois le bienvenu dans nos tabernacles
26. C’est toi, mon père

At last – a modern recording of Thaïs with a soprano who can sing the title-role. All we need is a soprano with a fabulously beautiful voice, idiomatic French, a sensuous legato, pure high notes up to a stratospheric top D, and the ability to leave every listener weak at the knees. Where was the problem? Renée Fleming makes it all sound so easy. Her success a couple of years ago at the Opéra Bastille in Paris with Massenet’s Manon showed that she has an affinity for this composer.
As Thaïs, a role with a similar vocal profile, she proves equally well cast. Within minutes of her entrance it’s clear that neither of the other sets from the last 25 years will be able to touch her.


Fleming simply has a vocal class that puts her in a different league and there’s just enough individuality in her singing to give Fleming’s Thaïs a personality of her own, and vocal loveliness brings a bloom to her every scene.


The Athanaël she leaves behind is Thomas Hampson, who is her match in sensitivity and roundness of tone. Their duet at the oasis in the desert is beautifully sung, every word clear, every phrase shaped with feeling. If only Hampson were equally good at getting beneath the skin of the operatic characters he plays. In the case of Athanaël there’s plenty of psychological complexity down there to uncover, but Hampson seems unwilling to engage the character’s dark side.


Occasionally, one regrets that Abel doesn’t have the New Philharmonia at his disposal, as Maazel does, but the subtlety of colour and accent that he draws from the Orchestre National Bordeaux-Aquitaine are a world apart from Maazel’s constant up-front aggression.


The famous ‘Méditation’, elegantly played by the young French violinist Renaud Capuçon, and featuring swoony background chorus is a dream. Add in a first-class Decca recording and it will be clear that this new Thaïs has pretty well everything going for it.

At last — a modern recording of Thaïs with a soprano who can sing the title-role…There is just enough individuality in her singing to give Fleming’s Thaïs a personality of her own, and vocal loveliness brings a bloom to her every scene…Thomas Hampson…is her match in sensitivity and roundness of tone.

[Thais] finds an ideal interpreter in Renee Fleming. After making the heroine’s unlikely conversion to virtue totally convincing, she crowns her performance with a deeply affecting account of her death scene…[Hampson] cannot quite equal her in such total conviction but he is vocally ideal.

Within minutes of Renée Fleming’s entrance it is clear that she simply has a vocal class that puts her in a different league. The famous Meditation is a dream. It is clear that this new Thaïs has pretty well everything going for it.

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