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On demand: Bartók's Bluebeard Castle

Bergen Philharmonic OrchestraRecorded at Grieg Hall (Grieghallen), Bergen, Norway
Michelle DeYoungMezzo-soprano
John RelyeaBass-baritone
Edward GardnerConductor
Pál MácsaiOrgan
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Following electrifying performances of Béla Bartók’s major orchestral works with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Edward Gardner turns to the composer’s one-act opera of 1918, Duke Bluebeard's Castle, in which much of the drama comes from the orchestra itself.

The gothic horror story of Duke Bluebeard drew music of huge imagination and deep impact from Bartók. As a beautiful woman named Judith enters the mysterious duke’s castle, she is shown images of vulgarity, beauty and sadness, including a lake of tears and mountains of gold. But Judith’s experience becomes all too real as the fatal drama unfolds, and Bluebeard reveals the dark secrets of his past. Together with mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, bass-baritone John Relyea and Pál Mácsai in charge of the prologue, Gardner plunges us into the unsettling but thrilling world of Bluebeard, from which no visitor returns alive. 

Filmed in November 2018.

© Kristin Hoebermann
© Kristin Hoebermann
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