Ruy and Roy

September 24 2013

Random 1830s, one of my favourite decades. Mendelssohn’s 1839 Ruy Blas, overture after the play by Hugo which had inaugurated the Théâtre de la Renaissance on November 8 1838. Beecham used to conduct it. It isn’t often played now. Madrid, 1699. Ruy Blas, a commoner, falls in love with Maria de Neubourg, consort of the decrepit young Charles II, the last Spanish Hapsburg (the first Bourbon is Philip V).

San Francisco Symphony, Monteux, War Memorial Opera, March 27 1949.

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Berlioz’s 1831 Rob Roy, overture after the novel by Scott, 1817, about an English boy who gets mixed up in the 1715 Jacobite uprising and meets the real-life hero Rob Roy MacGregor. Some of the music would be reused in Harold in Italy, his symphony after Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. His opus 1 in 1828, Waverley, had been another Scott overture.

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Dutoit, 1987.

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