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Aria: Opera Without Words


Aria: Opera Without Words


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jean Yves Thibaudet brings a lifelong passion for opera to his new CD of irresistible operatic melodies: Aria - Opera Without Words, an album that combines the intimacy of the piano recital with the drama and romance of the opera house. Following the huge success of his recording of the complete solo piano music of Erik Satie, this new album is a very personal collection of timeless classics and new transcriptions - including several by Thibaudet himself. Aria - Opera Without Words includes arrangements of many of the best-loved arias of opera including Puccini's "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca and "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi, and the sparkling "Jewel Song" from Gounod`s Faust. Thibaudet even provides a thrilling portrait of Wagner's mighty "Ride of the Valkyries." These performances are not just arrangements of popular classics, they are also piano works in their own right.


French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet has had a lifelong devotion to vocal repertoire, and it was inevitable that he would record an "opera without words" program. He is co-arranger of several selections on this disc, which is dedicated by Thibaudet to all the singers with whom he has performed. Listened to in one sitting, the disc is perhaps too much of a good thing. Savored a couple of tracks at a time, however, it offers considerable pleasure. Among today's big-name pianists, Thibaudet is one of those most frequently praised for "singing tone." He displays it exquisitely throughout this program, beginning with the initial track, a fantasy on two arias from "i"Samson et Dalila. Among the other tracks, a few do disappointingly little to enhance what one would find in a piano-vocal score ("Vissi d'arte" is an obvious example). On the other hand, Thibaudet's full technical arsenal is magisterially deployed in "Soirée de Vienne," a concoction of Johann Strauss waltz themes including that of Die Fledermaus; a "sonata-fantasy" based on Madama Butterfly -- at 12 minutes, the longest track on the disc; and Louis Brassin's formidable arrangement of the "Ride of the Valkyries," which Thibaudet tosses off with staggering ease. "i"-- Roger Pines

Aria: Opera Without Words

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