Roberto Alagna – La Navarraise (2018) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Roberto Alagna – La Navarraise (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz  | Time – 43:39 minutes | 426 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Warner Classics

With his red-blooded, action-packed opera La Navarraise, Massenet provided a French response to the Italian-driven vogue for verismo in the 1890s. This recording of this rarely-performed work stars Roberto Alagna as the Spanish solider Araquil and Aleksandra Kurzak as Anita, the titular girl from Navarre who is prepared to kill for love. Alberto Veronesi conducts the Opera Orchestra of New York.

La Navarraise is far from Massenet’s most famous opera. But can we even count it as an opera, considering that the composer saw it as a “lyric episode” and that it lasts only three quarters of an hour? Either way, it is indeed a work of the utmost maturity. It premiered in Covent Garden (sung in French) in 1894, featuring Emma Calvé, Pol Plançon and Albert Alvarez, the stars of their time. After a triumphant success in England, as well as in many European countries, La Navarraise disappeared from posters and was almost never be seen again. Italian Verismo and naturalism seem to have worn off on Massenet, as this is by far his “noisiest” score. The arrangement is filled with loud stage effects such as clapping hands, beating drums, clicking castanets, loud trumpets, clanging bells and shots from canons, shotguns and pistols. His music sometimes feels more like sound accompaniment rather than a lyrical passage. The musical content closely follows the theatrical action, which is very martial and turbulent indeed. Some, including the critic Willy, saw it as a kind of “Cavalleria española”, and quite rightly so. The gloomy action takes place in the Spanish Basque Country around the time of its creation, as Massenet mentions the Third Carlist War that took place just two decades earlier. It would be a bit like if a composer today were to create music based on the Yugoslav Wars… Alongside Roberto Alagna as the male lead, we find the Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak in the title role. This recording adds to the discography of the work which, although it is not Massenet’s greatest masterpiece, is clearly an underrated gem.

1. La Navarraise, Act 1: Prélude 03:00
2. La Navarraise, Act 1: “L’assaut à coûté cher, messieurs ! ” (Garrido) 02:24
3. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Capitaine, je vois que vous appartenez” (Anita, Ramon) 02:48
4. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Je ne pensais qu’à toi” (Anita, Araquil) 02:32
5. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Araquil ! … Mon père !” (Anita, Araquil, Remigio) 01:34
6. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Depuis deux ans je t’aime !” (Anita, Araquil, Remigio) 02:00
7. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Ah ! Mariez donc son cœur avec mon cœur !” (Anita, Araquil, Remigio) 02:28
8. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Etes-vous de la compagnie ?” (Anita, Araquil, Garrido, Remigio) 01:23
9. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Morts ! Les vieux compagnons, les meilleurs !” (Anita, Garrido, Ramon) 03:30
10. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Crénelons les maisons donnant sur la campagne” (Garrido, Chorus) 52
11. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Ô bien-aimée ! Pourquoi n’es-tu pas là ?” (Araquil) 01:29
12. La Navarraise, Act 1: “Anita,. La Navarraise ?” (Araquil, Bustamente, Ramon, Chorus) 01:59
13. La Navarraise, Act 1: “J’ai trois maisons dans Madrid” (Bustamente, Chorus) 03:04
14. La Navarraise, Act 2: Nocturne 02:59
15. La Navarraise, Act 2: “Alerte ! Alerte !” (Chorus) 19
16. La Navarraise, Act 2: “Mon argent ! … Que dis-tu ?” (Anita, Garrido) 02:49
17. La Navarraise, Act 2: “Voici ma dot !” (Anita) 45
18. La Navarraise, Act 2: “Blessé, mourant, j’espère !” (Araquil) 53
19. La Navarraise, Act 2: “Mourir ! mourir par moi !” (Anita, Araquil) 03:38
20. La Navarraise, Act 2: “Mon fils ! … Père !” (Anita, Araquil, Remigio, Ramon) 01:33
21. La Navarraise, Act 2: “Merci, la bonne Vierge !” (Anita, Garrido) 01:40

Aleksandra Kurzak (Anita: La Navarraise)
Roberto Alagna (Araquil)
George Andguladze (Garrido)
Brian Kontes (Remigio)
Issachah Savage (Ramon)
Michael Anthony McGee (Bustamente)
Opera Orchestra of New York & New York Choral Ensemble
Alberto Veronesi, conductor