Bartok: Bluebeard’s Castle

Recorded live in Grieghallen on 15 November 2018.

Following electrifying performances of Béla Bartók’s major orchestral works with the Orchestra, Edward Gardner turns to the composer’s one-act opera of 1918 in which much of the drama comes from the orchestra itself.

The gothic horror story of Duke Bluebeard drew music of huge imagination and deep impact from Bartók. As a beautiful woman named Judith enters the mysterious duke’s castle, she is shown images of vulgarity, beauty and sadness including a lake of tears and mountains of gold. But Judith’s experience becomes all too real as the fatal drama unfolds, and Bluebeard reveals the dark secrets of his past. After Haydn’s stormy Symphony No. 90, Edward Gardner plunges us into the unsettling but thrilling world of Bluebeard, from which no visitor returns alive.