Paray Conducts Bizet & Thomas (APE)
Paray Conducts Bizet & Thomas (APE)

Composer: Georges Bizet, Ambroise Thomas
Performer: Ambroise Thomas
Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Paul Paray
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Mercury
Size: 346 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Bizet: La Patrie – Overture
02. Carmen Suite (Excerpts From Suites Nos. 1 & 2) – Prélude
03. Carmen Suite (Excerpts From Suites Nos. 1 & 2) – La Garde Montante
04. Carmen Suite (Excerpts From Suites Nos. 1 & 2) – Les Dragons D’Alcala
05. Carmen Suite (Excerpts From Suites Nos. 1 & 2) – Intermezzo
06. Carmen Suite (Excerpts From Suites Nos. 1 & 2) – Aragonaise
07. Carmen Suite (Excerpts From Suites Nos. 1 & 2) – Les Toréadors
08. Bizet: L’Arlésienne Suite No.1 – Prélude
09. Bizet: L’Arlésienne Suite No.1 – Minuetto
10. Bizet: L’Arlésienne Suite No.1 – Adagietto
11. Bizet: L’Arlésienne Suite No.1 – Carillon
12. L’Arlésienne Suite No.2 – Arranged By E. Guiraud (1837-1892) – Pastorale
13. L’Arlésienne Suite No.2 – Arranged By E. Guiraud (1837-1892) – Intermezzo
14. L’Arlésienne Suite No.2 – Arranged By E. Guiraud (1837-1892) – Menuet
15. L’Arlésienne Suite No.2 – Arranged By E. Guiraud (1837-1892) – Farandole
16. Thomas: Mignon – Overture
17. Thomas: Raymond – Overture

It’s back, and it’s still great

You can fork over $50 or better for a vintage stereo LP of Paray’s Carmen and L’Arlesienne, or you can buy this–the sound will be about the same, and it’s great sound.
If you’re looking for the Habanera done sans soprano, forget it, because Paray doesn’t do it here and never did. The Carmen Suite here is his own selection and contains only originally instrumental music. It’s exciting and dramatic and beautifully recorded and presented. It also became a soundtrack for a later movie and was equally effective there.
The L’Arlesienne suites are among the finest ever done on record. Paray makes them so compelling, soulful, romantic and exciting, that he actually makes you want to see a production of the play with him in the pit. Paray’s wide experience and talent as an operatic practitioner takes us through all the scenic ups and downs of the plot and its characters, even though it’s incidental music rather than an opera (Cilea made a beautiful one of it, too, though we don’t hear it very often).
The Patrie and other overtures aren’t the most inspired music from the period, but Paray makes them into dramatic things quite a bit better than they intrinsically are: more than just chestnuts or joux-joux. It all comes from commitment, attention to detail, elegant presentation, and a lot of vital orchestral playing. Like most Paray disks, you’ll find yourself putting it on again right away.
All told, this is yet another example of Paul Paray’s unmatched artistry and insight that lead us to understand why all this music and its composers are held in high regard.

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