Honegger: Jeanne d'Arc au bucher (CD)

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Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, written by the Swiss composer Arthur Honegger in 1938, is a fascinating oratorio. The text by Paul Claudel is constructed like a flashback, in which Joan looks back over her life just before she dies.

The actor Marion Cotillard (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and La Vie en Rose) plays Joan with an overwhelming intensity and sincerity. The last moments of the martyr’s life, illustrated by the evocative and innovative music of Honegger, resound like a heartrending cry.

With an exceptional cast of performers, this live recording offers a gripping new version of one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century music.

Available seperately in two formats – DVD and CD

Cast:

Marion Cotillard (Jeanne d’Arc),
Xavier Gallais (Frère Dominique),
Yann Beuron (Porcus, Héraut I, Le Clerc),
Maria Hinojosa (La Vierge),
Aude Extrémo (Catherine),
Anna Moreno-Lasalle (La mère aux tonneaux),
Eric Martin-Bonnet (Une Voix, Héraut II, Paysan),
Carles Romero Vidal (Héraut, L’âne, Bedford, Jean de Luxembourg)

Barcelona Symphony & Catalonia National Orchestra, Marc Soustrot

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Reviews:

 

BBC Music Magazine

October 2015

***

“Cotillard movingly captures Jeanne's wildly contrasting moods while Xavier Gallas is consoling yet determined in supporting her...Most impressive of all, though, are the searing choral contributions that are convincing in their heartfelt gallic fervour, from an oppressed people, via baying crowd to angelic host.”

Gramophone Magazine

August 2015

“Marion Cotillard's Jeanne and Xavier Gallais's Dominique are probably as good as it gets. Cotillard marvellously captures Jeanne's innocence, toughness and terrifying doubts; Gallais is compassionate, tender, and at times tellingly fierce.”

Sunday Times

7th June 2015

“The music is large-scaled, colourful, eclectic and theatrical, even encompassing satire. Two actors, Marion Cotillard and Xavier Gallais, as Joan and her spiritual guide, Frère Dominique, lead a powerful live performance.”

The Guardian

3rd June 2015

****

“The spoken roles are well enough done by Marion Cotillard and Xavier Gallais on this live recording from Barcelona in 2012, but it’s the choral singing, superbly vivid, that provides the real dramatic muscle.”

The Telegraph

13th June 2015

****

“This imaginative collaboration between Honegger and the poet Paul Claudel, conceived originally for the dancer/actor Ida Rubinstein, is performed here under Marc Soustrot with terrific presence, the work’s ethereal reflectiveness countered by passages of down-to-earth realism in a vivid theatrical experience.”

Marion Cotillard (Jeanne d’Arc), Xavier Gallais (Frère Dominique), Yann Beuron (Porcus, Héraut I, Le Clerc), Maria Hinojosa (La Vierge), Aude Extrémo (Catherine), Anna Moreno-Lasalle (La mère aux tonneaux), Eric Martin-Bonnet (Une Voix, Héraut II, Paysan), Carles Romero Vidal (Héraut, L’âne, Bedford, Jean de Luxembourg)

Barcelona Symphony & Catalonia National Orchestra, Marc Soustrot