OP3368. LA CARAVANE DU CAIRE - Live Performance, 1991, Festival de Wallonie, w.Minkowski Cond. Ricecar Academy Ensemble; Jules Bastin, Gilles Ragon, Phillippe Huttenlocher, Isabelle Poulenard, etc.; LE JUGEMENT DE MIDAS – Excerpts, Live Performance, 1980, w.Leonhardt Cond. Choeur de la Chapelle Royal de Paris Ensemble; John Elwes, Miche van der Sluis, Jules Bastin, etc. (both Grétry). (EU) 2-Ricercar RIC268, in Boxed Set w.Elaborate 87pp. Libretto-Brochure in French & English. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 5400439002685
“This opéra-comique recording did disappear from print and finding a used copy was just impossible. Thankfully it has been re-released. Of all the Grétry operas recorded this is my favorite. Directed by one of my favorite conductors, Marc Minkowski, with original orchestration this opera will become one of the highlights of any collection. The music is quite good and very unique for it's time. Mozart was one of Grétry's admirers and is said to have kept a Gretry score near his bed side. His influence on Moazrt can definitely be heard. As well as his influence on later French composers such as Boieldieu and Adam.
LA CARVANE DU CAIRE is some of Grétry's most exciting music and it has a slight medieval sound to it and European ideas of Turkish music and genuine Turkish instruments. There is an especially exciting and wonderful drum piece at the end of track 13 and the beginning of the `Danse pour la Turcs'. I didn't know such exciting songs existed during the classical period. It is no wonder that this piece was so sensational when it first premièred. It was preformed over 500 times, a then unheard of thing. It has since slipped away but thankfully has been rediscovered. The public wasn't wrong in their admiration before and we are all the wiser and better off in its admiration today. The two CD's come in a box but held in paper sleeves. There is a compelte book with a history of the piece and a complete libretto.
Also included is Grétry's worthy LE JUGEMENT DE MIDAS. It is but highlights from the original but these pieces are so good you can only wish for a complete recording. The story and lyrics are by none other than Voltaire who was an admirer of Grétry's.
I strongly recommend this album. There is not a regrettable piece on it.”
- Brett Farrell, VINE VOICE
“Listening to this complete and beautifully performed LA CARVANE DU CAIRE clearly demonstrates why it was highly acclaimed in its day. Brilliant, melodic passages; memorable tunes; comic touches makes this a gem worth owning. It is rare enough that Grétry is performed, even more rare that his works are performed in their entirety, add to it virtuosity and original instrumentation and you have a masterwork.
This recording went out of print a few years back and so grab it up while you can.
Also included on this recording are exerpted highlights of LE JUGEMENT DE MIDAS, another wonderful work.”
- Gregory M. Gorsuch