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Handmaid's Tale

Ruders Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 36.60 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. Symposium Prologue (2195 AD) - Marianne Rorholm/Royal Danish Opr Chor/Kaare Hansen/Andrew Wise
2. The Red Centre Prld: Scene 1: The Classroom - Anne Margrethe Dahl/Royal Danish Opr Chor/Kaare Hansen/Andrew Wise/Marianne Rorholm...
3. The Red Centre Prld: Scene 2: The Dormitory - Marianne Rorholm/Djina Mai-Mai/Lise-Lotte Nielsen/Royal Danish Opr Chor/Kaare Hansen/Andrew Wise
4. The Red Centre Prld: Scene 3: The Classroom - Anne Margrethe Dahl/Royal Danish Opr Chor/Kaare Hansen/Andrew Wise
5. The Red Centre Prld: Scene 4: The Washroom - Anne Margrethe Dahl/Marianne Rorholm/Djina Mai-Mai/Annita Wadsholt
6. The Red Centre Prld: Scene 5: Graduation In The Assembly Hall - Anne Margrethe Dahl/Royal Danish Opr Chor/Kaare Hansen/Andrew Wise
7. Act One, Scene 1: The Wall - Marianne Rorholm
8. Act One, Scene 2: The House In The Day - Marianne Rorholm/Susanne Resmark/Kari Hamnoy
9. Act One, Scene 3: Offred's Bedroom - Marianne Rorholm/Kari Hamnoy/Susanne Resmark/Poul Elming/Hanne Fischer
10. Act One, Scene 4A: The Kitchen - Kari Hamnoy/Hanne Fischer/Djina Mai-Mai/Marianne Rorholm
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Act Two, Scene 1: Offred's Bedroom - Kari Hamnoy/Marianne Rorholm
2. Act Two, Scene 2: The Study At Night - Aage Haugland/Marianne Rorholm/Gert Henning-Jensen
3. Act Two, Scene 3: Joy's Sitting Room - Susanne Resmark/Marianne Rorholm/Aage Haugland
4. Act Two, Scene 4A: The Kitchen - Kari Hamnoy/Hanne Fischer/Djina Mai-Mai/Poul Elming
5. Act Two, Scene 4B: The Walk To The Shops - Marianne Rorholm/Elsebeth Lund/Royal Danish Opr Chor/Kaare Hansen/Andrew Wise/Lise-Lotte Nielsen
6. Act Two, Scene 5: The Wall - Royal Danish Opr Chor/Kaare Hansen/Andrew Wise/Elsebeth Lund/Marianne Rorholm
7. Act Two, Scene 6: The Houselight - Hanne Fischer/Poul Elming/Aage Haugland
8. Act Two, Scene 7: The Wall - Royal Danish Opr Chor/Kaare Hansen/Andrew Wise/Poul Elming/Elsebeth Lund/Marianne Rorholm
9. Act Two, Scene 8: The House - Susanne Resmark/Marianne Rorholm
10. Act Two, Scene 9: Offred's Bedroom - Marianne Rorholm/Hanne Fischer
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

With The Handmaid's Tale, the Danish composer Poul Ruders has created a powerful opera that presents the bleakest of futures for mankind. Based on a novel by Margaret Atwood, Ruders uses an extensive musical vocabulary to portray the horrors of a society in which women living in sin or second marriages are forced to become "handmaids" who are sent to childless families to be impregnated. This society, Gilead, forms the backdrop on which Ruders and his librettist Paul Bentley can pose the most uncomfortable of questions. Ruders' orchestral colours are frequently hyper-expressionist, as befits a story of the utmost oppression. The dramatic effectiveness of the piece is never in doubt: the frequent flash-backs contextualise and accentuate the ongoing drama. Ruders draws on a vast range of techniques to create this futuristic world. The Handmaid's Tale is a draining experience, but one which is nevertheless stimulating. One is left with the highest sense of admiration for Ruders' seemingly endless invention. Marianne Rorholm, in the main role of Offred, is astonishing in her stamina and involvement, projecting all the vulnerability and hopelessness of the central character. There is not a single weak link in the cast of this performance, recorded live in March 2000. The Handmaid's Tale is strongly recommended, but not to the faint-hearted. --Colin Clarke

Product Description


Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars MORE THEATRICAL THAN OPERATIC Sept. 4 2002
Format:Audio CD
I have to credit danish composer Poul Ruders for his supreme effort in musicizing such a complex work like Margaret Attwood's
prizewinning novel and translate it into TJENERINNENDES FORTAELNING.It's a great job,specially the part of Offred,which
can be extremely taxing for the poor soprano who takes it on.
As for the rest of the piece,to me it sounds more like modern theatre rather than opera,like many other works by composers like Harrison Birtwistle,York Holler or David Blake.Listening to this work means a powerful schock to the system,so if you're not into this type of works,just handle it with tongs...
It would be great to listen to the piece without the libretto first,just the music,then follow it with the text,although I'm fully conscious that both things form a compact block in this
particular work.Enjoy,as much as you can and be warned of where political and mainly religious fanaticism could lead us all to,which is one of the many messages of Attwood's novel and by extension of Ruders piece.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning July 28 2001
Format:Audio CD
Ruders and Bentley, along with the outstanding cast and orchestra of this recorded performance, have captured the core of Margaret Atwood's horrific vision of a possible future. Ruders's music is astonishingly inventive (as the other reviewers have pointed out), with moments of intensity that rival, for example, Strauss's "Elektra" or Berg's "Lulu," while managing to remain singable and listenable. The libretto distils the strongest moments of Atwood's narrative into what must be intense dramatic moments onstage. (Too bad the film did not have a similarly inventive screenplay.)I suspect this will rank among the best of 20th century operas and may well be among the few that receive many productions.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Why 'The Handmaid's Tale' matters. July 10 2001
Format:Audio CD
This modern opera is based on a Orwellian-like novel by Margaret Atwood. The composer-Poul Ruders-does an effective job of highlighting the bleakness of this story. He has a very creative libretto-by Paul Bentley- to work with. The cast's peak performance lends high drama and tension to the story. This works together with the variety of musical styles to present a highly recommended opera.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning July 28 2001
By Thomas F. Dillingham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Ruders and Bentley, along with the outstanding cast and orchestra of this recorded performance, have captured the core of Margaret Atwood's horrific vision of a possible future. Ruders's music is astonishingly inventive (as the other reviewers have pointed out), with moments of intensity that rival, for example, Strauss's "Elektra" or Berg's "Lulu," while managing to remain singable and listenable. The libretto distils the strongest moments of Atwood's narrative into what must be intense dramatic moments onstage. (Too bad the film did not have a similarly inventive screenplay.)I suspect this will rank among the best of 20th century operas and may well be among the few that receive many productions.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MORE THEATRICAL THAN OPERATIC Sept. 4 2002
By F. FUNES - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have to credit danish composer Poul Ruders for his supreme effort in musicizing such a complex work like Margaret Attwood's
prizewinning novel and translate it into TJENERINNENDES FORTAELNING.It's a great job,specially the part of Offred,which
can be extremely taxing for the poor soprano who takes it on.
As for the rest of the piece,to me it sounds more like modern theatre rather than opera,like many other works by composers like Harrison Birtwistle,York Holler or David Blake.Listening to this work means a powerful schock to the system,so if you're not into this type of works,just handle it with tongs...
It would be great to listen to the piece without the libretto first,just the music,then follow it with the text,although I'm fully conscious that both things form a compact block in this
particular work.Enjoy,as much as you can and be warned of where political and mainly religious fanaticism could lead us all to,which is one of the many messages of Attwood's novel and by extension of Ruders piece.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why 'The Handmaid's Tale' matters. July 10 2001
By Randall Herman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This modern opera is based on a Orwellian-like novel by Margaret Atwood. The composer-Poul Ruders-does an effective job of highlighting the bleakness of this story. He has a very creative libretto-by Paul Bentley- to work with. The cast's peak performance lends high drama and tension to the story. This works together with the variety of musical styles to present a highly recommended opera.
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