And, as the broadcast went on, I started to realize the Oren version emphasizes lightness, and offers a less dramatic approach than the Viotti version. I said less dramatic, that doesn’t mean Oren is playing the truly dramatic parts with shallowness and derision.
But I’m pretty sure that’s the way Halévy wanted his music to be played; after all these were times (1835) were composers explored dramatic subjects with somehow a joyful perspective (Berlioz excepted), let alone the fact that most productions weren’t dealing with dramatic subjects at all (Offenbach, Auber, Chérubini).
Still excited to go and listen to La Juive in Bastille on March 2007. Still wanting to throw those angry fellows to feed the lions… Audio extract from the MET:
Rachel, quand du Seigneur, Neil Schicoff (track #207) Further selected readings; 2003 Viotti version: