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Saariaho: Only the Sound Remains Blu-ray
Saariaho: Only the Sound Remains

Saariaho: Only the Sound Remains

Blu-ray
Blu-ray 
List Price: $24.98
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Angelic' is a word often used to describe Philippe Jaroussky's voice. The ethereal quality of his countertenor is intrinsic to his roles as both an angel and as a ghost in Only the Sound Remains, a double bill of operas by the distinguished Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, whose first opera L'Amour de loin has captivated audiences at such venues as the Salzburg Festival, Paris's Théâtre du Châtelet, London's English National Opera and New York's Metropolitan Opera. Saariaho composed Only the Sound Remains with Jaroussky in mind. "I've been to many concerts that he's given in Paris and I love his voice and the way he sings," she told the Dutch website Cultuurpers when the opera received it's premiere in Spring 2016 at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, where this DVD and Blu-ray were recorded. She and Jaroussky worked together as she wrote the score, ensuring that it was tailor-made for his talents. The production - by the celebrated American director Peter Sellars, who declared that "Philippe Jaroussky sings like nobody else on the planet" - was subsequently seen in Helsinki (April 2017) and reaches Paris, again with Philippe Jaroussky, in early 2018. "Only theSound Remains is a profound and moving exploration of mortality and consciousness," wrote Classical Voice North America, "The score [conducted by André de Ridder, who has wide-ranging credentials in contemporary music] is a swirl of choral and instrumental colors layered over a subtle electronic foundation withantiphonal effects. Structured like a series of interlocking boxes and punctuated bydelicate word-painting, this opera marks a breakthrough in Saariaho's ability to bring astory to life, with vividly imagined details that focus on sensory experience and hint atthe inner emotions of the characters." The Financial Times described the opera in detail: "The ending of Kaija Saariaho's new double bill for the Netherlands Opera lives up to it's name. Her subtle and meticulous blend of live electronics with acoustic sound can create curtains and washes of sound, sensual and evocative in ways that have become her trademark.... Tsunemasa (Always Strong) and Hagoromo (Feather Mantle), 14th-century Japanese Noh theatre works brought to the US... in the early 20th century and later pieced together into English approximations by poet Ezra Pound, form the basis of a libretto for an evening of music theatre co-conceived by Saariaho and director Peter Sellars. Both works... are scored for small ensemble with two singers - baritone and countertenor. Both narrate encounters with the supernatural.... Saariaho uses the Finnish zither-like kantele rather than a Japanese koto in her ensemble, and western flutes in place of the shakuhachi [a Japanese flute], but the Japanese sound-world is a clear source of reference, with pentatonic scales and onomatopoeic percussion deployed generously. Baritone Davone Tines and countertenor Philippe Jaroussky are perfect as the earth/spirit counterparts of the two pieces (ghost and priest for the first opera, fisherman and angel for the second), Tines with his earthy, virile warmth, Jaroussky with his ethereal purity, the music tailored for these two exceptional voices. Sellars, as always, sets out with consummate sincerity and solid stagecraft to convey a highly spiritual message... It is meticulously crafted and superbly performed. Saariaho is in fine form." Philippe Jaroussky's performance was summed up by France's Opéra magazine: "In Hagoromo the voice of the French countertenor blossoms with a wondrous freedom and expressivity," while the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote that "Philippe Jaroussky is the noblest and most distinctive of countertenors... If he has gained fame as an exponent of virtuosic baroque arias, here
Title: Saariaho: Only the Sound Remains
Genre: Opera/Operetta
Starring: Philippe Jaroussky
Studio: Rhino Warner Classic
Release Date: 11/10/2017
Product Type: Blu-ray
UPC: 190295753917
Item #: 1963802X

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