Que m'importe la vie et ce semblant de gloire? Un nom maudit! Mon Dieu! Ah fuyez! Il sort. Vanish sweet memory too dear to my heart; respect a calm won through much suffering, and remember that if I have tasted of a bitter cup, my heart could fill it full with the blood it has shed!
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Synopsis: In the seminary, Des Grieux has already acquired the reputation of a gifted preacher. He does not let his father dissuade him from dedicating his life to God. It is the second great aria Massenet wrote in Manon for the tenor. Like the Dram aria, this piece is an introspective reflection of his emotional world. It is two years since Manon left him. He is still obsessed. Later the music gets more intense, showing the pain that the feelings for Manon still provoke.
The organ from the church accompanies him he hopes to overcome this obsession. But soon the pains come back and he ends this great aria with a beautiful diminuendo. Je suis seul! Seul enfin! Mon Dieu! The role of Des Grieux is written for a lyric tenor. The lyric tenor has a soft, melting voice. The voice must be rich and agile in melodic creation. He can reach the high notes with ease and create a beautiful sound. The lyrical tenor must be able to sing both intimate pieces and more exciting pieces convincingly.
We start with Nicolai Gedda He was above all, a tenor highly appreciated by connoisseurs. In the aria Des Grieux and with him the listener is overwhelmed by the feelings for Manon, in the parlando middle section Gedda defeats himself once more, while organ chords sound — only to be carried away again with masterfully designed crescendo.
The next recording is by Jonas Kaufmann. It comes from his CD from Romantic Arias , which has received excellent reviews. The greatest praise which was quoted again and again came from the highly respected critic John Steane in the magazine Gramophon, who saw Jonas Kaufmann as the candidate for the future top tenor. Especially the Manon excerpts stood out. Also the French experts were full of praise, the excellent French diction of the German was noted appreciatively.
Finally, I would like to add Tito Schipa to the playlist. Des Grieux was one of his favourite roles. As always, Schipa captivates with his elegant voice, which expresses pain unparallelled by other singer.
Listen to a recording from the thirties. Peter Lutz, opera-inside, the online opera guide to Ah fuyez douce images from the opera Manon. This post is also available in: German. Your email address will not be published. Leave a Reply Want to join the discussion?
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File:Jules Massenet - Manon - Ah! fuyez, douce image.ogg
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