Debussy - Pelléas et Mélisande (Pierre Boulez) (2002/1992)
NTSC 16:9 (720x480) VBR | Francais (Dolby AC3, 2 ch) | (Dolby AC3, 6 ch) | (DTS, 6 ch) | 7.71 Gb+2.21 Gb (DVD9+DVD5) | 158 min
Classical | Deutsche Grammophon | Sub: Francais, English, Deutsch, Espanol, Chinese
Peter Stein staged the work for Welsh National Opera in 1992 and won universal praise, as did Pierre Boulez for his conducting. Within austere, wholly appropriate sets, beautifully lit by Jean Kalman, Stein catches the very essence of this singular and elusive piece. Each of the 15 scenes is given its own distinctive décor in which the action is played out on several levels – high for the tower scenes, low for the eerie, subterranean grottoes, for instance. A masterstroke is the subtle evolution from one scene to another in view of the audience, offering a visual counterpoint to the interludes. Stein sees that Debussy's instructions are scrupulously observed. In fact, as a whole, this is an object-lesson in modern staging. Stein and his collaborators reflect the ebb and flow of crude realism and fragile dream-life that permeate the score, which Boulez has identified as lying at its heart. Director and conductor worked closely with each other over a six-week rehearsal period, something unlikely to occur today, so Boulez's interpretation is in complete accord with the staging, his musical direction at once direct and luminous, timbres finely balanced one with the other.