French composer Camille Saint-SaÎns was a child prodigy, musicologist, astronomer, archeologist, poet, writer, teacher, and one of the most important and prolific composers of his generation. Yet, Saint-SaÎnsí reputation has, for some time, mainly rested on his instrumental works the ìOrganî Symphony, the overture Carnival of the Animals and his oratorio turned opera, Samson et Dalila.
Manon Lescaut was Pucciniís first big success, and his first contribution to the repertory. Yet itís popularity has always lagged behind that of the composerís following three mega-hits La Boheme, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, as well as some later successes such as Turandot and even Gianni Schicchi.
If Rossini could set a laundry list to music, then Ewa Podle? is one of the few candidates available to sing it. In this CD, recorded live at the Polish Radio Hall in Wroclaw (Wratislavia), during the thirty third International Festival Wratislavia Cantans Music and Fine Arts, the Polish contralto gives ample proof of her status as one of the great singers of her generation.