The opera's Austrian premiere took place at the Salzburg Festival on 4 August 1978 with conductor George Alexander Albrecht, Walter Berry and Katalin Kasza. Bluebeard insists that the last door remain closed, but Judith confronts him, asking if the blood she has seen is the blood of his previous wives. Bluebeard pleads with her to stop: the castle is as bright as it can get, and will not get any brighter, but Judith refuses to be stopped after coming this far, and opens the penultimate sixth door, as a shadow passes over the castle. THE BARD (spoken) Well, the lights are out; still, need I mention. The opera is preceded by a film that sets up the revised drama, using Bartok’s “Concerto for Orchestra” as the audio backdrop. Naturally, she opens it when Bluebeard is away, discovering the mutilated corpses of his previous wives. "Data on the Genesis of, This page was last edited on 8 November 2020, at 23:46. Though it owes much musically to Richard Strauss, it's musical world is more radical. We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Understandably upset, she drops its key onto the bloody floor, but an enchantment renders her unable to wash it clean. Bluebeard’s Castle is a miraculous accomplishment. I've owned the famous Decca Kertesz recording with Ludwig and Berry and never felt the need for another one, but I'm a big fan of Pierre Boulez and Tatiana Troyanos and decided to purchase this fine recording. I avoided this opera for a long time, because I've never been a big fan of Bartok's later works. It takes a bit of listening to but as they say in musical circles ‘it’s a grower’. Duke Bluebeard's Castle (Hungarian: A kékszakállú herceg vára; literally: The Castle of the Blue-Bearded Duke) is a one-act opera by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. Ramey is in his prime; his beautiful, keenly focused, inky-dark bass is perfect to encompass Bluebeard's sadness, tenderness and underlying menace. She is taken aback, but remains undaunted, demanding that the other doors be opened. Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2015. Bluebeard’s Castle is Béla Bartók’s only opera and it’s lack of immediate success probably contributed to his decision to abandon the form in favour of instrumental compositions. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Ah, those rumours, truthful rumours.”. In: Kaminski, Piotr. Up to the opening of the fifth door the castle gets continuously brighter. © 2011-2019. (Prices may vary for AK and HI.). The sixth room! Ludwig also believed that Judith was telling the truth every time she says to him, Szeretlek! After the end of World War I, Hungary gained independence from Austria and entered a tumultuous period. She then sees seven locked doors within the castle, and desires to open them to let in more light. [8] The Metropolitan Opera mounted the opera for the first time on 10 June 1974 with conductor Sixten Ehrling and singers David Ward and Shirley Verrett. There should not be any objections to this recording on the grounds of authenticity; contrary to previous assertions that Marton is American, she was born in Budapest in 1943 and is thus echt Hungarian, and Ramey has always had an excellent ear for languages, so he sounds pretty authentic to my untutored ears - and I do love the unexpected, muscular strangeness of the language (part of the Finno-Ugric language group and hence wholly unfamiliar to anyone used to hearing opera sung in a Teutonic, Slavonic or Latinate tongue). The strangeness (to English speaking ears) of the Hungarian text also adds to the underlying sense of horror. No. Bartók was motivated to complete the opera in 1911 by the closing date of the Ferenc Erkel Prize competition, for which it was duly entered. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. The opera lasts only a little over an hour and there are only two singing characters onstage: Bluebeard (Kékszakállú), and his new wife Judith (Judit); the two have just eloped and Judith is coming home to Bluebeard's castle for the first time. It closes behind her, and Bluebeard is left alone as all fades to total darkness. That many of you are thinking of your lives, Your problems, not of Bluebeard and his wives. But she persists, asking him about his former wives, and then accusing him of having murdered them, suggesting that their blood was the blood everywhere, that their tears were those that filled the lake, and that their bodies lie behind the last door. In this post, discover the dark secrets that lie behind Bartók’s fascinating operatic masterpiece. The opera was presented with full orchestra in the 348th regular concert of the NHK Symphony Orchestra on 16 March 1957. Overall the music is not atonal, although it is often polytonal, with more than one key center operating simultaneously (e.g. For non-native speakers, the Hungarian-language libretto can also be difficult to master. Bluebeard urges her on. UPC Code: 095115523728 Release Date: September 2019 Originally recorded in 2018. Although the composer wrote it when he was just 30 years old, it is a truly mature work. The first American performance was by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra broadcast on NBC Radio's Orchestras of the Nation on 9 January 1949, followed by a concert performance at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas, on 10 January. Both soloists give a totally satisfying account of the roles of Bluebeard and Judith. The vocal parts are very challenging due to the highly chromatic and speech-rhythm-inflected style that Bartók uses. Fundamentally, Bluebeard’s Castle is about loneliness, vulnerability, and the fear of revealing our darkest secrets to those we love. Fischer takes a more more restrained approach to the score than the impassioned Kertész but that gives it a dreaminess appropriate to this strange, haunting, Symbolist nightmare. The libretto was written by Béla Balázs, a poet and friend of the composer. Please try again. —Calvin Dotsey. Marton, while not as varied and subtle as Ludwig, is able to refine her big sound to suggest Judith's youth and vulnerability as well as her impetuous, importunate (dare I say very feminine?) The Boosey & Hawkes full score includes only the German and English singing translations while the Dover edition reproduces the Universal Edition Hungarian/German vocal score (with page numbers beginning at 1 instead of 5). Universal Edition and Bartók Records has published a new edition of the work in 2005 with a new English translation by Péter Bartók [hu], accompanied by an extensive errata list.[1]. the leadup to the climactic opening of the fifth door). Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. And I prophesy, I have a foreknowledge, that this spiritual loneliness is to be my destiny. Bluebeard's Castle (Hungarian: A kékszakállú herceg vára; literally: The Blue-Bearded Duke's Castle) is a one-act expressionist opera by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. A new ending was added in 1917. 4.7 out of 5 stars 17. Judith is a Police Detective and expert in undercover work. I have always admired enormously the voices of both Sam Ramey and Eva Marton and had heard good things about this disc. Together they travelled around the countryside recording and logging the various musical styles among small rural communities. “Bluebeard’s Castle” holds a special place among the oeuvre of Béla Bartók, as it is his only opera. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. In a broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera on February 14, 2015, she stated that it does not matter who Judith is, she symbolises a human being who has to face up to all the fears that she brings from her past.[16]. The work was first performed in Japan on 29 April 1954 by the Youth Group of the Fujiwara Opera Company (under conductor Yoichiro Fukunaga with piano accompaniment). The premiere took place at the Royal Hungarian Opera House in Budapest and is unique in that {…} […] I can enjoy nothing about him apart from his music.”. As she enters the dark fortress, she reveals that she has abandoned her family and betrothed to marry Bluebeard. Running Time: 58:49. Even if I should ever succeed in finding someone, I am sure that I would soon be disappointed.”. Once upon a time . Bluebeard then arrives at his castle with his new wife, Judith. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. The libretto was written by Béla Balázs, a poet and friend of the composer. The opening of the ‘pleasant’ doors like the treasury, the secret garden and the vista of Bluebeard’s kingdom are accompanied by beautiful tonal passages that reflect the beauty being revealed.

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