Melba Recordings

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La somnambule

Opus High Definition (France) (Internet
Jean-Jacques Millo
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Here is a discovery not to be missed. Four years before the famous opera of Bellini, Ferdinand Hérold composed La somnambule, a ballet in three acts, whose libretto was penned by Scribe.

Born in 1791, Hérold is especially known for one of his other ballets La fille mal gardée. The French public first heard La somnambule in September 1827, performed by the Royal Academy of Music, and just six years before the death of the composer. We have now had to wait 150 years to be able to hear this brilliant work again. And this recording restores it for us beautifully. In this edition, richly illustrated and devoted to Richard Bonynge, Orchestra Victoria breathes to life the orchestral colours imagined by Hérold. In a light style with obvious melodic invention, the music of the French composer represents one of the greatest works of its kind and the Australian conductor pays homage to that which was admired by Adolphe Adam, the composer of Gisele: “Hérold had no rival. All those who write music for the dance will seek to do it as well as he. No one will be able to do it better.”

This is a Super Audio CD that is to be recommended.

Read the original web review (in French) ...