Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress, conducted by Eivind Gullberg Jensen
The Orchestre de Paris conducted by Eivind Gullberg Jensen performs The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky, produced by Simon McBurney, with Julia Bullock, Paul Appleby, Evan Hughes, David Pittsinger... Performance recorded on 5 July 2017 at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché in Aix-en-Provence.
The Rake’s Progress was first performed on 11 September 1951 at la Fenice in Venice. An opera in three acts by Igor Stravinsky, it was inspired by the painting of the same name by William Hogarth from the 18th century.
The story is that of Tom Rakewell, a young and penniless man who wishes to marry the beautiful Ann Trulove. As often in these stories, the father rejects the union of his daughter with a poor and unworthy man. Tom therefore leaves for London where he meets the enigmatic Nick Shadow and unexpectedly inherits a large fortune. Thus begins a life of opulence and debauchery. However, when the young Tom discovers that his wealth will not buy him true happiness, it is already too late, and his escapades gradually drive him insane.
Within The Rake's Progress can be found a number of references to previous composers with a strong influence upon Stravinsky, most notably references to the works of Handel, Schubert, Verdi and of course Mozart's Don Giovanni, as explained by the critic Piotr Kaminski.
Contrary to what one may think, the work's lyricism is of the utmost importance, as can be see in Ann's air "Quietly night, and "Could it then", the trio with Tom and Baba the Turk. "The story is told, enacted, contained almost entirely in song", wrote Stravinsky in 1964.