Werther (Legendary Performances)
Filmed at the Vienna State Opera in 2005, Andrei Serban's production of Massenet's opera with a late 18th century setting pushes the action forwards to the 1950's, with the visuals exemplifying that decade with precision. With as much delicacy on display as naked passion, his (Alverez)morbid poet is outstandingly realized both vocally and dramatically. Together with Erod's dour Albert and Ileana Tonca's Sophie-clearly in love with Werther herself-the drama is set out with unusual clarity and realism. Philippe Jordan ensures that Massenet's pent-up emotion explodes exactly on cue, it's expressive power providing impossible to resist. Performance * Picture and Sound* -BBC Music Magazine, Sept 2010.