Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle

Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle cover
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Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle
Michelle De Young (mezzo); John Relyea (bass); Pál Mácsai (actor); Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; Edward Gardner (conductor)

[ Chandos SACD / Hybrid SACD ]

Release Date: Friday 30 August 2019

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Following outstanding reviews for his interpretation of Duke Bluebeard around the world, notably at the Paris Opéra and then in Philadelphia and New York with Michelle DeYoung, John Relyea stars in the first studio SACD Surround Sound recording of Bartók's psychological thriller.

The two protagonists are joined by Edward Gardner and his Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hungarian actor Pál Mácsai who delivers the Prologue, the work being sung in the original Hungarian.

Bartók's only opera, Bluebeard's Castle was composed in 1911 and is based on a libretto by Béla Balázs (a room-mate of Kodály), which met Bartók's desire for a subject that was modern, but drawn from traditional culture. Of their recent performance at Carnegie Hall, the critics said:

'Ms. DeYoung's singing had radiant bloom and molten intensity, which conveyed Judith's youthful naïveté as well as her wilful determination.' - New York Times

'Relyea was superb, … with his … firm, deep and incisive voice, he delivered a thrilling portrayal that fully displayed Bluebeard's transformation from laconic to impassioned.' - Classical Source


Bluebeard's Castle, Op.11, BB 62 (1911, revised 1912, 1917-18)
Opera in One Act
Libretto by Béla Balázs