Format: CD
Rel. Date: 05/17/2024
UPC: 5060113440945

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The Cenci (1951-52) is Havergal Brian's operatic realisation of Shelley's gruesome tale of incest and parricide in Renaissance Italy. The score calls it simply an 'Opera in Eight Scenes', but it rarely goes in for grand tunes; instead, it's dark colours reflect Shelley's fascination with the struggle between good and evil. Stylistically, it is an unusual but highly effective hybrid: a music-drama focused on the intense delivery of Shelley's text, with the declamatory style of the vocal lines echoing such recent oratorios as Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher, and the freewheeling orchestral writing producing something of a vocal symphony.