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Oedipus Rex

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
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Product Details

  • Performer: Esa Pekka Salonen
  • Composer: Stravinsky Igor
  • Audio CD (Nov. 4 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sme
  • ASIN: B0000027U0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,181 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Oedipus Rex: Prologue: 'Spectateurs! Vous allez entendre une version latine d'Oedipe-Roi' (Narrator)
2. Oedipus Rex: 'Caedit nos pestis'
3. Oedipus Rex: 'Liberi, vos liberabo' (Oedipus, Narrator)
4. Oedipus Rex: 'Respondit deus' (Creon)
5. Oedipus Rex: 'Non reperias vetus scelus' (Oedipus)
6. Oedipus Rex: 'Oedipe interroge la fontaine de verite' (Narrator)
7. Oedipus Rex: 'Dicere non possum' (Tiresias, Oedipus)
8. Oedipus Rex: 'Rex peremptor regis est' - 'Invidia fortunam odit' (Tiresias, Oedipus)
9. Oedipus Rex: 'Gloria!'
10. Oedipus Rex: 'La dispute des princes attire Jocaste' (Narrator)
11. Oedipus Rex: 'Gloria!'
12. Oedipus Rex: 'Nonn' erubescite, reges' (Jocasta)
13. Oedipus Rex: 'Ne probentur oracula' (Jocasta)
14. Oedipus Rex: 'Cave oracula!' - 'Trivium, trivium...' (Jocasta, Oedipus)
15. Oedipus Rex: 'Oracula mentiuntur' (Jocasta, Oedipus)
16. Oedipus Rex: 'Le temoin du meurtre sort de l'ombre' (Narrator)
17. Oedipus Rex: 'Adest omniscius pastor' (Messenger)
18. Oedipus Rex: 'Oportebat tacere' (Shepherd)
19. Oedipus Rex: 'Nonne monstrum rescituri' (Oedipus)
20. Oedipus Rex: 'In monte reppertus est' (Shepherd, Messenger)
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Oedipus Rex is one of the most remarkable and successful of Stravinsky's "neoclassical" pieces. With text set in Latin, a narrator explains what is about to happen, and invites the audience to observe the action objectively, without becoming emotionally involved. The result is music which has the same monumentality and "spatial" quality as a sculpture garden. Esa-Pekka Salonen has rapidly gained a reputation as one of our finest Stravinsky conductors. Together with his stellar lineup of soloists, he turns in spectacular performance.--David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Whatever virtues this recording may have, for me everything is overshadowed by the fact that all the singers have been instructed to pronounce the Latin diphthongs as actual diphthongs: thus, OYdipus, OYdipodis, etc. Oy veh! It's absolutely excruciating! Salonen's conducting doesn't help much: it's rather lifeless and lack-luster, with tempos a notch too slow in many places. Yet I almost feel that the recording is worth getting only for Vinson Cole's ravishing performance of "Invidia fortunam odit, the best I've heard. Anne-Sophie Von Otter gives a lively, colorful and musical reading of Jocasta. But overall I would recommend the Orpheus recording with Colin Davis, Thomas Moser, and Jessye Norman.
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Format: Audio CD
Diaghilev was correct when called this 1927 work by Igor Stravinsky, "a most sinister gift." Everything about it seems wrong: timing; libretto; translation; narration; staging; Italianate vocalisms; the ominous tympani rolls. Its one standout virtue is its simplicity. For those reasons - & more - Oedipus Rex is really an ironic comedy about Stravinsky himself, & quite Mozartian if one is willing to make a character of the composer & laugh at his pretensions as Mozart laughed & as Stravinsky so rarely did.
Bob Rixon
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x995397c8) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99566228) out of 5 stars A crisp and lucid recording of a masterpiece June 29 2000
By ebrinkma - Published on
Format: Audio CD
There is not an abundance of modern recordings of this unique work, so I was glad to find one that was as good as this. I came to this piece after falling in love with Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, and I found many of the same things that I loved there in this slightly earlier piece. While I'm not too crazy about Oedipus himself, Anne Sofie van Otter makes a great Jocasta, projecting a very cool image to hide a genuine fear. The demonic mood of "oracula mentitur" is captured especially well. I love the desperation underlying the agressive music.
HASH(0x9956627c) out of 5 stars Mostly very successful Salonen "Oedipus Rex" Aug. 17 2012
By jt52 - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have known "Oedipus Rex" for many years through Stravinsky's own Columbia recording and never liked it one bit. This 1992 Esa-pekka Salonen version is comprehensively superior to the composer's. While it has flaws - which I will describe below - it converted me from a reluctant listener of "Oedipus" to a convinced fan. Any performance that does that with a listener is a successful one and deserves praise.

Salonen is an accomplished conductor of 20th-century music. For example, I heard him lead a superb Bartok performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, a few months ago. The pacing, control and attention to Stravinsky's stylistic traits he shows here makes this an idiomatic and consistently interesting rendition. The orchestral balance between strings and winds is handled just right, I think, and the choral passages display perfect ensemble and an apt sense of the rhythmic patterns Stravinsky devises. Two of the soloists are outstanding. Anne-Sophie Mutter, who I find produces uneven recordings, is perfect as Jocasta. The US bass-baritone Simon Estes is also terrific, singing with a beautiful tone and musicality. (For another example of this vocalist's superb work, see the Colin Davis-led Faure Requiem, where Estes delivers in a memorable way.)

So far so good. The recording has two notable flaws, which is why it is rated 4-stars. Vinson Cole is pretty deplorable in the role of Oedipus. Cole sings unmusically and uncomfortably, with some pitch wavering. I do take into account that Stravinsky wrote demanding tenor parts, but Cole's fumbling lies beyond struggles with a difficult part. Secondly, the Sony engineers deliver thin, unattractive sound, in line with other Salonen discs from this time period. The sonics though are largely free of digital haze. Finally, it doesn't help that there is no track listing of any sort on the CD - forget liner notes, no track listing period.

In sum, a mostly very good disc that I have enjoyed and will keep listening to in the future.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99566558) out of 5 stars Still the Most Definitive 'Oedipus Rex' On Record Sept. 24 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Esa-Pekka Salonen is more attuned to the complexities of this brittle and vibrant Stravinsky oratorio than any other conductor, and despite the fact that this recording dates back to 1992 is still retains the magic he brings to this work. Having heard subsequent performances live of Salonen's way with Oedipus, hearing him grow even more secure with the masses to control, this recording has all of the essentials to make it the choice performance.

The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra may not have the valuable sonic sheen Salonen elicits from the LA Philharmonic, but the playing is responsive and crisp. The cast is superb with Vinson Cole ringingly true as Oedipus and Anne Sofie von Otter as a powerful Jocasta. Patrice Chereau is superb as the Narrator and the cast is rounded out with such luminaries in the opera field as Simon Estes, Nicholai Gedda and Hans Hotter. The choral singing is precise though still in that Swedish manner of straight tone which actually fits this music well.

One can only hope that Salonen will record this work again to demonstrate his current full grasp of a magnificent and too rarely heard Stravinsky masterwork. Grady Harp, September 05
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99566a74) out of 5 stars It's getting a little chilly in here. Sept. 3 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I've owned a dozen or more versions of Oedipus Rex over the years, and this one still remains on my shelf. I like Salonen's Stravinsky in general. It follows th composer's preference for chilly, precise, detached articulaiton without sentiment. But in this cast the Oedipus, Vinson Cole, sounds overparted, as does the excellent mezzo, Anne Sofie von Otter. Vocally, the parts of Oedipus and Jocasta are as weighty and florid as anything in early Verdi, and here we have lighter voices trying to carry the dramatic thrust but sounding like fairly polite oratorio singers. I imagine that's deliberate, and the result overall is very musical But for me there has to be more fire in the mix, at least as much opera as oratorio.
HASH(0x99566a8c) out of 5 stars Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex ~ Salonen Dec 30 2011
By Bjorn Viberg - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex ~ Salonen is a 1992 Sony Classics recording starring Anne Sofie Von Otter in the role as Jocasta. Being a fellow Scandinavian I am extra proud of Anne Sofie Von Otter's amazing performance. Esa-Pekka Salonen leads The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Wolfgang Dömling has written the music notes. Also included are short biographies of the performers and the orchestra. The lyrics are available in French, English and German. A very enjoyable recording indeed. Highly recommended. 5/5.