PIERRE BARTHOLOMÉE (b.1937): Œdipe sur la route.
Catalogue Number: 07R056
Label: Evidence Classics
Description: 'Œdipus on the Road' is a 1990 novel by Henry Bauchau (1913 - 2012). It corresponds to Sophocle's second Œdipus play, Œdipus at Colonus, beginning with the king's departure from Thebes, narrating his harrowing journey, and ending (ambiguously in the case of the novel) wIth his death. Bauchau fleshes out the character's complex psychology in the face of inexorable fate, and adds detail to Œdipus' wanderings and the people he meets - shepherds, hunters and bandits - introducing a major character, Clius, a notorious bandit, who becomes the king's protector. Œdipus is a complicated character who exhibits various redemptive skills along the way, and much weight is given to the psychologically intricate character of Antigone. Bauchau provided the libretto for Bartholomée's opera, which unsurprisingly emphasizes the dialogue between the characters, though the music is far more than a mere framework for the text. The score is harmonically rich, even dense and complex, though stopping short of complete atonality; complex counterpoint within the orchestra and between orchestra and dramatic, declamatory vocal lines is of great importance in throughout, and the work has a restless energy that admits little repose. The work is in four acts which approximate the form of a symphony, subdivided into many short scenes that advance the psychological argument through taut exchanges between successive ensembles of characters. The large orchestra is employed with quasi-Romantic opulence and power, reinforced at key points by the mainly offstage choir. 2 CDs. French-English libretto. José van Dam (baritone), Valentina Valente (soprano), Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of La Monnaie; Daniele Calligari.