Still haunted by tenor aria from Massenet's 'Werther'
Although I have heard a lot of music since attending Washington National Opera's production of Massenet's "Werther" a week or so ago, I keep being haunted by "Pourquoi me reveiller," the tenor aria in the third act. It plays on continual loop inside my pathetic little head. (I even hunted around for a ring tone version the other day, which might be going too far.)
I figured I might as well share my passion for this extraordinary aria, which combines so much feeling, from the deeply introspective to the passionately outspoken. (And this will give you something to chew on while awaiting my reviews of the plays and concerts I caught over the weekend.)
Just the first 12 notes of "Pourquoi me reveiller" get me every time -- so simple, yet so poignant. How perfect they are to draw you into Werther's melancholy.
Some folks think of Massenet as ...
a lightweight. I can't, not when confronted with this aria (or the rest of "Werther," not to mention "Manon").
Here are three golden-oldie versions of "Pourquoi me reveiller," only one of them in the original French -- a melody like this really does speak a universal language. I hope you like the amazingly poetic performances by these honey-toned tenors, Cesare Valletti, Ferruccio Tagliavini and Sergei Lemeshev, as much as I do. If you don't have time for all three, make sure you hear Lemeshev: