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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. Prelude: Lent
2. Le Sultan Des Mogols A Passe La Troisieme Porte
3. A, A!...Souverain D'un Peuple Florissant
4. War Dance
5. Dance Of the Slave-girls
6. Ce Sont Les Femmes Du Palais
7. Elle Mont Au Ciel Ou Reve Le Printemps
8. Aux Armes...Il Est Trop Tard
Disc: 2
1. Prelude
2. Om! Siva...Siva, Laisse Ma Voix
3. Padmavati!
4. Ah!...O Mes Soeurs Fideles
5. Pantomime
6. Dance And Pantomime
7. Dans La Nuit Flamboyante, La Nuit Conduite Par La Mort

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A Beautiful and Exotic Opera July 10 2007
By David A. Wend - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I first got to know this opera from the original LPs that were issued and, since I no longer have a turntable, I was hoping that Padmavati would be issued on CD. Albert Roussel visited India in 1909 and was enchanted with the country. During this journey, Roussel and his wife visited the palace of Padmavati, near the ruins of the town of Chittorgarh, and saw the cave where she committed suicide. Back in France, Roussel was asked by Jacques Rouche to suggest a new project following the success of Le Festin de l'araignee and so Padmavati came to be composed. The opera was completed in 1918 and premiered in 1923 with a lavish stage design. Roussel thought of Padmavati as an opera-ballet because of all of the dance sequences in its two short acts. A good portion of the opera is purely orchestral, most notably with the Warrior dance in the first act and Padmavati's pantomime in the second act.

The story of the opera, in brief, is set in 13th century India at the city of Chitoor. From here the noble and just Prince Ratan-Sen rules India; he is married to the beautiful Padmavati. The drama of the story centers on the Mogul ruler of Delhi, Alauddin, who is approaching Chitoor with his army. Alauddin is entertained by Ratan-Sen but the Mogul wishes to see the face of Padmavati and when he sees her, unveiled, he falls in love with her and demands that she be handed over to him. Ratan-Sen, naturally, refuses. A battle ensues and Ratan-Sen is wounded and dies; Alauddin is unrelenting in his desire for Padmavati but she ends her life by joining her husband on his funeral pyre.

The recording is beautifully cast with Marilyn Horne as Padmavati and Nicolai Gedda as Ratan-Sen; Jose Van Dam makes a suitably sinister Alauddin. The chorus - Orfeon Donostiarra - are marvelous in their demanding role and the Orchestre Capitole de Toulouse, conducted by Michel Plasson, play beautifully, bringing out the exotic shadings of the music. The booklet reproduces the original album cover with Marilyn Horne dressed as Padmavati and while there is no libretto (it is available at [...]) but the synopsis is very detailed. The CDs are presented in a small box with each disc in a card sleeve. Padmavati is a must for fans of Roussel's music and early 20th century opera.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By BAILADORA FINA - Published on
Format: Audio CD
EMI claims on the back of this set that the full libretto is available for download on their website. This is not the case! It is nowhere to be found! If this were Tosca, Carmen, or Traviata one could easily obtain the libretto elsewhere, but this is an opera that is rarely performed and Roussel is not a household name. By promising that the libretto will be available online and then not keeping that promise, EMI is not only being deceitful to its customers, it is doing them and this work a great disservice; keeping buyers from fully enjoying this lovely, exotic opera. I advise everyone who buys this release to post a comment on the EMI website demanding that they stand by their word and make the libreto available to everyone who purchases this CD, as promised.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent performances of a fun but not exactly first-rate work; no libretto, though Sept. 30 2011
By G.D. - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Roussel's first opera (or rather opera-ballet) Padmavati, finished in 1919, is a rather weird work. Its story is set in 13th-century India (Roussel had visited India in 1909) and Roussel uses that, to a certain extent, as a pretext to engage in faux orientalism - the music is often fun, colorful and even exhilarating (though it is also often more austere than the fantastic scenes could suggest), but it is hard to defend the claim that it really adds up to much or provide much of the originality and individual character of Roussel's best works. There are many purely instrumental (or instrumental plus choral) passages in the work - not surprising for an opera-ballet - and this is also where Roussel is at his best; these are fiery bacchanals or lavish descriptions of atmosphere. It is not that his writing for voices is bad, but he seems very unsure of how to construct a convincing operatic aria; perhaps he didn't really try given the format, but the vocal passages are generally more declamatory than actually sung arias.

Nevertheless, the soloists do a very fine job. Nicolai Gedda as Ratan-Sen is utterly convincing - sensitive, yet firm and imposing. Marilyn Horne is very convincing in the title-role; displaying all the warm allure and attractiveness of the character and José van Dam is very effective (even scary) as Alaouddin. The minor roles are overall very convincing as well. The choral and orchestral contributions are thoroughly excellent throughout and the sound is fine - but there is no libretto, just a track-by-track synopsis of the action. In sum this is an attractive, colorful and fascinating work, but it can hardly be counted as a masterpiece, and is surely not the work that will provide a sampler of what Roussel has to offer as a composer. I guess what it eventually lacks is a certain amount of intensity and drama in the music; it is all just a little bit staid. Recommended nonetheless.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Padmavati: Albert Roussel. Sept. 29 2008
By R. Wood - Published on
Format: Audio CD
A wonderful discovery! The opera was totally unfamiliar to me, and it's fascinating. Previously I knew Roussel only from his four symphonies.
There are no weaknesses in the highly distinguished cast and the performance seems to me outstanding.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
All the way from Auckland! Feb. 28 2010
By Ian Elliott - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
CD arrived timely and in excellent condition. Just think, it came all the way from Auckland, New Zealand to Norway! It actually got here ahead of a couple of books coming from the UK. Way to go, Auckland!

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