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I don't speak the language either, but I've read the libretto every time I've listened to the BFO Philips SACD, and it affects me each time. The interplay between Judith and Bluebeard throughout the piece, her insisting inquisitiveness, against his guarded passiveness, culminating in her surrender to the inevitable once she went too far. The last scene, with the counterpoint between the two never leaves me dry eyed.

Seiji Ozawa and the BSO preformed Bluebeard in the late 80's, as did Levine four years ago. Seiji's was the much more dramatic interpretation, With 20 additional Brass spread 10 on each side of the hall half way back. I had a friend (my then boss) with me on the rail of the second balcony. I wasn't working at the BSO then. He was mildly board, not watching the concert staged performers through the first four Doors, reading the libretto, when his world of classical music changed forever with Door Five. The enormous crash of the percussion, the huge C major organ cord, Judith screaming, and all that brass right on top of us so shocked him, I thought he was going to go over the balcony rail.

I can't recommend it enough.

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