Boys to men « parterre box
Those seeking biblical acceptance for same-sex relationships obviously In , the intense friendship between David and Jonathan, son of Saul, present the local premiere of Charpentier's David et Jonathas this month. This version of Charpentier's little-performed opera makes the best case for Nor does Homoki overegg the homosexual relationship at the opera's core. both David and Jonathan are Israelites does it really change this?. Charpentier's David et Jonathas was commissioned by the College to the work was not conceived autonomously but in relationship with Chamillard's play.
His cast was, by and large, a strong one and Les Arts Florissants played with sparkle and enthusiastic commitment if not always with finesse.
The cast on the CD issue is more or less the same but the haute-contre role of La Pythonisse or, in other words, the prophetess, the Witch of Endor, is sung by Dominique Visse, he was replaced by Charles Daniels in the London performance. Of the two, Visse with his distinctive, somewhat nasal timbre captures the grotesque aspect of the character more vividly and that seems appropriate here.
Although confined to the Prologue, Visse's interpretation is amongst the roles most strikingly conveyed in the recording; the subtle contrasts of colour in his voice and the ease with which he moves from falsetto to chest voice are remarkably effective and furthermore, Visse introduces a real sense of theatre to his performance.
Gerard Lesne is reliable if a little colourless as David though he does bring an affecting pathos to the role in the final act. The bass, Jean-Francois Gardeil makes a fine Saul.
His expressive air in Act 3 is excellent and, as the opera progresses, he conveys Saul's desperation and ever-growing suspicion of David. Monique Zanetti has a pleasing and appropriately boyish timbre for the role of Jonathas. She does not always find the centre of her notes but Jonathas's urgent plea, after being mortally wounded, for help to be sent to his father, Saul, and the ensuing death scene are beautifully sung.
Jean-Paul Fouchecourt projects the character of Joabel, a nasty piece of work, effectively. I found much to enjoy in Michel Corboz's reading of the opera when I reviewed the LPs in and, on hearing it once again this time in its double CD format I am disinclined to shift my ground.
Corboz is less meticulous than Christie in some stylistic matters.
David et Jonathas – Edinburgh festival review | Culture | The Guardian
Ports de voix are few and far between, for example, and when they are virtually unavoidable, Corboz makes as little of them as he can. Christie gives us the Overture both at the beginning and the conclusion of the Prologue as intended whereas Corboz plays it only once.
Generally speaking, however, the Erato cast is a comfortable match for the new one. Paul Esswood is a more forthright David than Lesne; his exchanges with Saul in Act 3 are more lively and he projects a stronger image of the character. Philippe Huttenlocher as Saul is altogether more forbidding than his counterpart though his singing often lacks focus. Rene Jacobs is splendid as the Witch of Endor, less sinister than Visse but a shade more resonant. Colette Alliot-Lugaz has an appealingly fresh-sounding voice well suited to the role of Jonathas.True Friends - David And Jonathan - Shawn Stone
Corboz's choir are less reliable than Christie's; the timbre of children's voices is often effective but intonation is variable. There is little to choose between the two orchestras- each has its strong and weak points and both have an excellent continuo team. The performing edition for both recordings is by Jean Duron, who provides very concise notes for Harmonia Mundi and indigestibly inflated ones for Erato.
There are plenty of small differences of opinion where orchestration is concerned but that is to be expected in a score of this kind. To sum up, here are two lively accounts of a musically rewarding work. None of it perhaps reaches the level of the finest moments in Charpentier's operatic masterpiece Medee, but none of it, on the other hand, falls below a level which readily seizes our attention.
Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life, And in their death they were not parted; They were swifter than eagles, They were stronger than lions How have the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle!
Jonathan is slain on your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women. How have the mighty fallen, And the weapons of war perished! Which love depended on a selfish end? This was the love of Amnon and Tamar. And which did not depend on a selfish end? This was the love of David and Jonathan. This argues that the relationship between the two, although strong and close, is ultimately a platonic friendship.
David and Jonathan
The covenant that is made is political, and not erotic; while any intimacy is a case of male bonding and homosociality. Neither of the men is described as having problems in their heterosexual married life. David had an abundance of wives and concubines as well as an adulterous affair with Bathshebaand apparently suffered impotence only as an old man, while Jonathan had a five-year-old son at his death.
Emotional and even physical closeness of two males did not seem to concern the editors of the story, nor was such a relationship prohibited by Leviticus.
Ionarts: David ♥ Jonathas
The story has also frequently been used as a coded reference to homoerotic relations when the mention was socially discouraged or even punished. Jonathan cherished David, Achilles loved Patroclus. David had mourned for Jonathan. This was first pioneered by Tom Horner,  then adopted by John Boswell. Jonathan and David cared deeply about each other in a way that was arguably stronger and more intimate than a platonic friendship.
David's praise in 2 Samuel 1: Throughout the passages, David and Jonathan consistently affirm and reaffirm their love and devotion to one another, and Jonathan is willing to betray his father, family, wealth, and traditions for David. That there is more than mere homosociality in the dealings of David and Jonathan is asserted by two recent studies: