Books by Edouard Lalo (Author of Lalo)
Alain Vanzo; Andréa Guiot; Jules Bastin; "LE ROI D'YS"; Edouard Lalo
The booklet-note here admirably translated, by the way—other French companies, please take notice! It is perhaps not easy for today's audiences to accept the work's overheatedly melodramatic action—the king's daughter Margared, infuriated that Mylio, the man she secretly loves, is marrying her sister Rozenn, connives with Karnac, an enemy, to open the town's floodgates: total annihilation is averted only by the intercession of the local patron saint when Margared, in a last-minute repentance, throws herself into the sea; but weaker opera plots than this have survived; and flat-footed as is the libretto, it is no worse than plenty of others. No, in the last resort an opera's quality depends on its music, and it has to be admitted that Lalo's thematic material, apart from the famous Aubade in Act 3, is rather undistinguished; and on close acquaintance one begins to tire of some of his 'ham' musical gestures and his frequent recourse, when wishing to whip up excitement, to edging the tonality upwards in semitones. Nevertheless Le roi d'Ys does not deserve to fall into oblivion, and in the present recording it has found, in many ways, a sturdy champion. The chorus, which plays a not inconsiderable part in the work, sings cleanly, with firmness or with delicacy as required its predecessor contented itself with a generalized forte —the B major bridal chorus in Act 1 and the Breton pre-wedding folk ceremony are delightfully done.
EVE QUELER cranked up her time machine once more last night at Carnegie Hall, this time in behalf of ''Le Roi d'Ys,'' Edouard Lalo's charmingly faded opera about a legendary city that barely escapes being engulfed by the sea when the patron saint of Brittany decides to hold back the rising floodwaters for reasons that only a librettist or catechist could hope to explain. This is the same legend that inspired Debussy's ''Cathedrale Engloutie,'' though Lalo's opera deprives the tale of some of its watery romance by arranging a happy, comparatively dry ending. Miss Queler and her Opera Orchestra of New York know how to make the most of works that history has put on the shelf, justly or not. She conducted a robust and melodramatic reading of the overture, which once was a concert staple, and churned up the musical waters in similar style whenever Lalo did not specifically request calmer weather. As she likes to do in these concert-version performances, she dramatized certain pages of the score by deploying musicians offstage - in this instance emplacing trumpeters and drummers in various balconies and corridors.
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Donate Here. The choice of Celtic — as opposed to classical — mythology as subject may be seen as a Wagnerian gesture. But these are superficial resemblances. As he himself explained in a letter to the critic Adolphe Jullien after the premiere, Lalo had toyed with the idea of couching the work as a lyric drama, with a leitmotiv-based, continuous symphonic texture and the voices blending with the orchestra. Fearing he would produce only a pale imitation, he decided instead to remain faithful to a typically French eclecticism in the tradition of Berlioz and Gounod: the work is organized in short, clearly separated numbers arias, duets, and ensembles while the vocal writing, rather than being subservient to broad, highly developed symphonic textures, is unabashedly melodic and lyrical.
That city was, according to the legend, the capital of the kingdom of Cornouaille. Lalo was known outside France primarily for other work, but within France he was recognized almost solely for this opera. His first version of the opera was widely rejected during the s, but the revised work met with great success the following decade, becoming his most successful work for the stage. Lalo composed Le roi d'Ys between and drafting the entire opera, in its first version, in His interest in the folklore of Brittany was prompted by his wife, the contralto Julie de Maligny, who was of Breton origin. The role of Margared was originally written for her.