The Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice has become the centre for a revival of the French Romantic repertoire, recording and releasing a series of “opera books” containing music and libretto alongside essays explicating the circumstances surrounding the work – vital in the case of Massenet's Thérèse if your knowledge of revolutionary France is patchy. There's a sudden, pleasing appearance of a harpsichord minuet during a reminiscence scene. It's an odd but effective balance of wistful recollection and terrified apprehension, a tragedy of devotion and sacrifice which ends with the heroine joining her husband on the tumbril.
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