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An excellent recording with one drawback – no libretto: and if you don’t already possess one you are stumped, as copyright means that there’s no free online version in the public domain.  But moan over and on to the performance, recorded live over two runs (2008 and 2011) at the Theater an der Wien. Bertrand de Billy conducts the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester with great style and clarity, and delivers the larger emotional punches without resort to soupiness.  His cast is on the whole exemplary.  Sally Matthews’ gorgeous soprano has the vocal sheen and dynamic range to convey Blanche’s psychological insecurities. As Constance, Hendrickje van Kerckhove balances purity with resolve. Deborah Polaski’s core tonal strength may not lie quite profoundly enough for Madame de Croissy, but she is a great communicator. Michelle Breedt’s Mère Marie, Heidi Brunner’s Madame Lidoine and Yann Beuron’s Chevalier de la Force all contribute to the tension, and the final minutes are almost too unbearably intense to listen to.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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