Genius can be defined in a number of ways. One such definition is to be the right person in the right place at the right time; another is to have the capacity to move your audience to tears. Monteverdi meets both these criteria with flying colours. His professed ambition was to "move the passions of the soul," thereby drawing tears from his audience, and he achieved this with greater efficacy than any of his contemporaries. The use of the word "madrigal" on the title pages of his eight collections (and a posthumous Ninth Book from 1651) is therefore deceptive, concealing radical stylistic changes which brilliantly reflect the turbulent, exciting times in which he lived.
Back another two centuries, to 1640 and a late masterpiece by the first great figure in opera history: Claudio Monteverdi and his Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria – “The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland”. Raymond Leppard conducted a production at Glyndebourne in the early 1970s, based on his own edition of the textually problematic work – there are gaps in the only surviving score. Revived in 1979, the production – which has gone down in the annals of opera legend – was recorded by CBS. Gramophone’s reviewer declared the performance “gloriously vivid in humanity and splendour.
BUYSOUNDTRAX Records present HIGH ROAD TO CHINA, featuring music composed and conducted by John Barry for the 1983 action adventure film directed by Brian G. Hutton (SOL MADRID, WHERE EAGLES DARE, KELLY’S HEROES), based on a book by Jon Cleary, starring Tom Selleck, Bess Armstrong, Jack Weston, Wilford Brimley, Robert Morley, Cassandra Gava and the great Brian Blessed as the Suleman Khan.
“Raymond Leppard's edition of Poppea, first staged at Glyndebourne in 1962, opened many people's eyes and ears to Monteverdi for the first time. By 1984, though, when Glyndebourne mounted this new production, his Respighi- isation of Monteverdi's sparse original was distinctly old hat. The allegorical prologue was restored; but as well as the lush string textures there remained the downward transposition of castrato roles and the squeezing of three acts into two. Yet only the most fanatical devotee of historically informed performance could fail to respond to this wonderful production with sumptuous designs by John Bury.
Le juge Raymond Fawcett et sa secrétaire sont retrouvés assassinés dans la maison de campagne du juge. Il n’y a pas de trace de lutte, pas d’empreinte, pas un seul témoin. Rien. Au bout de quelques mois, l’enquête n’a pas progressé d’un pouce et le FBI est sur les dents. …