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Betrothal in a Monastery

Price: CDN$ 32.69 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Comic masterpiece Sept. 12 2008
By S. Jones - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A biography of Prokofiev suggested that this was his best stage work, while other reviews I'd heard of the opera were largely positive but not superlative. Now that I have it, I have to go with the superlative. This is one of the greatest comic operas I've ever heard, and gives all the others a run for their money. The music is truly brilliantly comic; only R. Strauss and sometimes Haydn can, in my experience, equal this for music that is both well composed and laugh-producing without visual accompaniment. The opera and its music are well structured, melodic as well as funny, and fit the drama's situations to a tee. The loopy music Don Jerome intends for his party has to be heard to be believed. As a composition the opera may lose some of its steam toward the end, but it has plenty of steam left to make the end very enjoyable.

As to this recording, the singers are a bit recessed and can probably be bettered for beauty of sound -- I'm unfamiliar with the Gergiev recording-- but the cast is solid and the vocal acting excellent. The women generally do have fine voices, the men less so (particularly Vsevolod Grivnov, the young hero). The conducting of Vladimir Jurowski is extremely lively and engaging (and funny); I don't see how it could be bettered, by Gergiev or anyone else. (And his name is on both the front and back of the album, as well as inside; I don't understand what the other reviewer was fussing about.) The sound of the recording itself is fine, for compact disks. All in all, a wonderful investment for anyone who loves opera, comedy, and/or Prokofiev.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
They Actually Include the Cyrillic Text April 18 2014
By New Yorker - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have to admit, I don't care for this music, which bubbles along without
much melody. However, the performance is quite spirited, so anyone
looking for a good reading of this particular work will be happy. The price was
right, too. What really mattered to me was the libretto, because beside the
English, French, and German translations this label gives us the Russian
in the Cyrillic alphabet. This is very unusual nowadays. Labels have stopped
printing the Russian words in Russian, relying entirely on cumbersome and
unreadable transliterations. For that reason alone I give the five stars. (But
this really is a stylish performance as well.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lovely performance but odd sound Feb. 5 2011
By NPW - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a lovely performance of a great work, and anyone who doens't know it should be encouraged to buy it. But the recorded sound has an odd "cardboard box" side to it, so anyone who's specially picky about such things might want to have a listen before deciding whether to order.
2 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Incomplete information Aug. 1 2008
By brambeus - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I've given this recording 4* on the basis of the cast. When I've heard it (yes, I know one ought to rate based on first-hand (or first-ear) acquaintance, but my set will soon be on order. I simply couldn't find another way of pointing out that the conductor described as "consummate" in the blurb is not named. If he is, as I suspect, Vladimir Jurowski, who was appointed Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and who is renowned for his interpretations of Prokofiev, why not say so? If, after auditioning the set, I am given another chance to review it, I'm likely to give it 5 stars. I cannot conceive that I'll be disappointed.

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