Wolfgang Holzmair, baritone; Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano; National Orchestra and Choir of France/Bernard Haitink
One hundred years ago this spring, Claude Debussy invented a new kind of opera with his modernist masterpiece PellÉas et MÉlisande.
One hundred years ago this spring, Claude Debussy invented a new kind of opera with his modernist masterpiece Pelléas et Mélisande. The tender, tragic work still resonates, sonically and emotionally. Mythic yet timeless, ethereally poetic yet deeply human, Pelléas et Mélisande has often brought out the best among recording artists. This concert recording is a version to challenge the finest. The star-crossed couple is ardently, artfully sung by Swedish mezzo Anne Sofie von Otter and Austrian baritone Wolfgang Holzmair. Yet the album's star is veteran conductor Bernard Haitink, who entices his French orchestra to play with a radiance that swells and surges but never upstages the singers. As usual with Naïve, this three-disc set was produced and packaged with flair. Distributed in the U.S. by Harmonia Mundi.—BB