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A Telling Moment

Poulenc's 'Dialogues
des Carmélites' -
appreciated by
ROBERT ANDERSON

'... finely expressed ...'

Francis Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmelites. © 2007 TDK Marketing Europe GmbH

It was on Mount Carmel that Elijah worsted the priests of Baal. I suspect they were a far more decent lot than the Parisian mob that loaded the tumbrils on their way to 'La veuve', that tireless guillotine so omnivorous in its tastes that it demanded heads attached to any political persuasion, those of any religious devotee, and ultimately a spinkling of mobsters for good value. So Carmelite nuns had to go the way of much French flesh at the merciless end of the Eighteenth Century. It is a telling moment at the start of this joint Amsterdam-Milan production that Parisians mass on stage during the prelude, symbolically baying already for blood.

The first moments of 'Dialogues des Carmélites'. Screenshot © 2004 RAI Trade
The first moments of 'Dialogues des Carmélites'. Screenshot © 2004 RAI Trade

 

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Copyright © 2 January 2008 Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt

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'Elgar and Chivalry' by Robert Anderson - available now from Elgar.org