Saturday, September 07, 2002

[9/7/2012] Sunday Classics preview: Do I hear a waltz? (Tchaikovsky edition) [continued]


Valery Gergiev conducts the Act II Entr'acte and opening waltz scene from Tchaikovsky's Yevgeny Onegin at the Met (I guess they couldn't afford a set) in 2007, with Keith Miller as the Captain, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Onegin, Ramón Vargas as Lenski, and Elena Zaremba as Olga. (If the French subtitles don't do it for you, we've got an English rendering below.)


It's way too complicated to go into more than basic plot details here, but Yevgeny Onegin has accompanied his friend Vladimir Lenski to the provincial home of Madame Larina and her daughters Olga (Lenski's fiancée) and Tatiana. The opening of the Entr'acte evokes the unforgettable Letter Scene of Act I, Scene 2, in which a madly infatuated Tatiana, unable to sleep, poured out her passion in a letter to Onegin. (In Scene 3 Onegin coolly shot her down.) In Act II, at a ball thrown by Madame Larina, a deeply bored Onegin gets the jolly idea of getting back at Lenski for dragging him here by flirting with Olga -- a little joke that will have catastrophic consequences.

TCHAIKOVSKY: Yevgeny Onegin, Op. 24:
Act II, Entr'acte and Waltz

The principal reception room of the Larins' house, where a ball is in progress. The room is brightly lit by a central chandelier and candles in sconces along the wall. Uniformed officers are among the guests. As the curtain rises, the younger people are dancing a waltz while the older ones watch admiringly. ONEGIN is dancing with TATIANA and LENSKI with OLGA. MADAME LARINA bustles about with the air of an anxious hostess.

GUESTS: Well, what a surprise!
We never expected a military band!
Revelry, and to spare!
A long time has passed
since we were so entertained!
A marvelous party, would you not all agree?
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo!
What a lovely surprise for us!
ELDERLY LANDOWNERS: In our estates we seldom see
the joyous glitter of a merry ball.
Hunting is our only entertainment.
We love the hubbub and clatter of the hunt.
LADIES: Fun indeed:
They ride all day
along thickets, fields, bogs, bushes;
they lie down when tired
and pause for a rest.
A fine entertainment for poor ladies indeed!
[The CAPTAIN appears. The young ladies flock around him.]
YOUNG LADIES: Oh, Trifon Petrovich,
how kind you are indeed!
We are so grateful to you!
CAPTAIN: That's quite enough!
The pleasure's mine!
YOUNG LADIES: We'll dance to our heart's content!
CAPTAIN: That's my intention too!
Let's start the dance!
[The dances begin again. TATIANA and ONEGIN are among the dancers and they attract the attention of the ladies.]
A GROUP OF LADIES: Look, look,
the fops are dancing!
ANOTHER GROUP: High time too!
FIRST GROUP: Fine suitor indeed!
SECOND GROUP: Pity for Tanyusha!
FIRST GROUP: He'll marry her.
TOGETHER: And tyrannize her.
They say that he's a gambler.
[After finishing the dance, ONEGIN walks slowly through the hall, listening to conversations.]
LADIES: He's a dreadful ignoramus and behaves extravagantly.
He doesn't kiss a lady's hand,
he's a freemason and only drinks
red wine by the glass!
ONEGIN: That's a nice opinion!
I've had enough of listening
to spiteful gossip.
It serves me right.
Why did I come
to this silly ball? Why?
I won't forgive Vladimir [Lenski] for this!
I'll court Olga.
I'll drive him thorougly mad!
There she is!
[ONEGIN approaches OLGA. LENSKI approaches her at the same time.]
ONEGIN [to OLGA]: Please!
LENSKi [to OLGA]: You promised me this dance!
[to LENSKI]: You must have made a mistake.
[OLGA dances with ONEGIN.]
LENSKI: Oh, what's wrong?
I don't believe my eyes! Olga!
Gd, what's wrong with me?
GUESTS: A splendid feast!
What a surprise!
What a treat!
There's no end to the fun!
A splendid feast!
What a surprise!
We never expected
a military band!
There's no end to the fun!
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo!
Bravo! Isn't that so?
A splendid feast, isn't it?
No, we never did expected
a military band!
A splendid feast, splendid, splendid!
There's no end to the fun!
A splendid feast! A splendid feast!

Jürgen Hartfiel (bs), A Captain; Thomas Allen (b), Yevgeny Onegin; Neil Shicoff (t), Lenski; Leipzig Radio Chorus, Staatskapelle Dresden, James Levine, cond. DG, recorded June 1987

Vladimir Silayev (bs), A Captain; Yuri Mazurok (b), Yevgeny Onegin; Alexander Fedin (t), Lenski; USSR State Radio and Television Large Chorus and Large Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Fedoseyev, cond. Audiophile Classics, recorded 1986


As noted, we're going to listen to those other Tchaikovsky waltzes, and maybe another odd or end or two.


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home