Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689.html Sat, 22 Jun 2024 08:23:51 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Jean Baptiste Lully – Alceste (1994) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/1549-lullyalceste.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/1549-lullyalceste.html Jean Baptiste Lully – Alceste (1994)


Alceste (ou le triomphe d'Alcide), LWV50
Libretto by Philippe Quinault after Euripides.

CD1
01 Prologue - Ouverture
02 Le Heros Que J'attends Ne Reviendra-T-Il Pas_
03 Bruit De Trompette. «Quel Bruit De Guerre ...»
04 Rondeau Pour La Gloire
05 «Helas, Superbe Gloire, Helas!»
06 «On Ne Voit Plus Ici Paraetre»
07 «Qu'il Est Doux D'accorder Ensemble»
08 «L'Art, D'accord Avec La Nature»
09 Air Pour Les Divinites Des Fleuves, Menuet
10 «L'onde Se Presse»
11 Air Pour Les Divinites Des Fleuves Et Les Nymphes, Loure
12 Choeur Des Naiades Et Des Divinites Champetres «Que Tout Retentisse»
13 Air Pour Les Divinites Des Fleuves Et Les Nymphes, Menuet
14 Ouverture, Reprise
15 Acte I Scene I - «Vivez, Vivez, Heureux epoux»
16 Acte I Scene II - «L'Amour A Bien Des Maux»
17 Acte I Scene II - «Lycas, J'ai Deux Mots e Te Dire»
18 Acte I Scene III - «Je Pretends Rire»
19 Acte I Scene III - «Je Vois Ton Amour Sans Colere»
20 Acte I Scene III - «Moins On A De Moments e Donner e l'Amour»
21 Acte I Scene III - «Le Mepris D'un Volage»
22 Acte I Scene IV - Ritournelle. «Dans Ce Beau Jour, ...»
23 Acte I Scene IV - «Un Ton Grondeur Et Severe»
24 Acte I Scene IV - «Si Je Change D'amant»
25 Acte I Scene IV - «Par Un Espoir Doux Et Trompeur»
26 Acte I Scene IV - «Essaye Un Peu De L'inconstance»
27 Acte I Scene V - «Straton, Donne Ordre Qu'on S'apprete»
28 Acte I Scene I\V - «Qu'aisement Le Depit Degage»
29 Acte I Scene VI - «Vivez, Vivez, Heureux epoux»
30 Acte I Scene VII - Air Pour Les Matelots
31 Acte I Scene VII - Air, Rondeau
32 Acte I Scene VII - Loure Pour Les Pecheurs
33 Acte I Scene VII - Prelude. «Dieux, Le Pont S'abeme Dans L'eau»
34 Acte I Scene VIII - «Epoux Infortune, Redoute Ma Colere»
35 Acte I Scene VIII - Le Vents
36 Acte I Scene IX - Ritournelle. «Le Ciel Protege Les Heros»

CD2
01 Acte II - Ritournelle. «Alceste ne vient point ...»
02 Acte II - «Un rival n'est pas inutile»
03 Acte II - «Un hyman qui peut plaire»
04 Acte II - «Allons, allons_ la plainte est vaine»
05 Acte II - «Puisque je perds toute esperance»
06 Acte II - «Permissons tous»
07 Acte II - Marche en Rondeau
08 Acte II - «Marchez, marchez, marchez»
09 Acte II - Entree
10 Acte II - «Achevons d'emporter la place»
11 Acte II - «Courage, enfants_ je suis e vous»
12 Acte II - «Que la vieillesse est lente!»
13 Acte II - Ritournelle. «Rendez e votre fils ...»
14 Acte II - «Cherchons Admette promptement»
15 Acte II - «Peut-on chercher ce qu'on aime»
16 Acte II - Ritournell. «O Diuex! Quel spectacle funeste!»
17 Acte II - «Alceste, vous pleurez! Admete, vous mourez!»
18 Acte II - «Alceste, vous pleurez! Admete, vous mourez!»
19 Acte II - Ritournelle. «La lumiere aujourd'hui te doit etre ravie»
20 Acte III - Ritournelle. «Ah! Pourquoi nous separez-vouz_»
21 Acte III - «De tant d'amis qu'avait Admete»
22 Acte III - «Voyons encor mon fils_ allons, hetons nos pas»
23 Acte III - Ritournelle. «O trop heureux Admete!»
24 Acte III - «Qu'une pompe funebre»
25 Acte III - «Alceste est morte»
26 Acte III - Pompe Funebre. «Formons les plus lugubres chants»
27 Acte III - «Rompons, brisons le triste reste»
28 Acte III - Prelude. «Que nos pleurs, que nos cris ...»

CD3
01 Acte III - Ritournelle. «Sans Alceste, Sans Ses Appas»
02 Acte III - Ritournelle. «Le Dieu Dont Tu Tiens La Naissance»
03 Acte IV - Ritournelle. «Il Faut Passer Tet Ou Tard»
04 Acte IV - «Donne, Passe, Donne, Passe»
05 Acte IV - «Sortez, Ombres_ Faites-Moi Place»
06 Acte IV - Prelude «Reeois Le Juste Prix De Ton Amour Fidele»
07 Acte IV - Fete Infernale, Air
08 Acte IV - «Tout Mortel Doit Ici Paraetre»
09 Acte IV - Les Demons, Air
10 Acte IV - «Quittez, Quittez Les Jeux_ Songez ...»
11 Acte IV - «Un Grand Coeur Peut Tout Quand Il Aime»
12 Acte V - Prelude
13 Acte V - «Alceste Est Vainqueur Du Trepas»
14 Acte V - «Ne M'eteras-tu Point Chaene Qui M'accable»
15 Acte V - «Ou'on Ne Porte Plus D'autres Fers»
16 Acte V - «Je N'ai Point De Choix e Faire»
17 Acte V - «Que Chacun Chante»
18 Acte V - Prelude
19 Acte V - «Pour Une Si Belle Victoire»
20 Acte V - «Ah! Que Ne Fait-On Pas»
21 Acte V - «Pardonnez Aux Derniers Soupirs»
22 Acte V - «Ah! Quelle Gloire Extreme!»
23 Acte V - Prelude
24 Acte V - «Les Muses Et Les Jeux S'empressent .. »
25 Acte V - «Chantons, Chantons, Faisons Entendre»
26 Acte V - Premier Air Pour Les Petres
27 Acte V - Dieuxieme Air Pour Les Petres
28 Acte V - «A Quoi Bon»
29 Acte V - «C'est La Saison D'aimer»
30 Acte V - «Triomphez, Genereux Alcide»

Jean-Philippe Lafont [Bt] (Alcide)
Colette Alliot-Lugaz [S] (Alceste)
Howard Crook [T] (Admète)
Claudine Le Coz (Thétis; Nymphe de la Mer)
Douglas Nasrawi (Alecton; Apollon)
François Loup (Lycomède; Pluton)
Gilles Ragon (Lychas)
Gregory Reinhart (Caron)
Jean-François Gardeil (Straton)
Michel Dens (Phérès)
Miriam Ruggeri (Nymphe de la Seine)
Olivier Lallouette (Eole; Clénte; Homme désolé)
Sophie Marin-Degor (Céphise; La Gloire)
Véronique Gens (Prosperine; Femme affligée; Nymphe de la Marn)

La Grande Ecurie et La Chambre du Roy
Ensemble Vocal Sagittarius
dir. Jean-Claude Malgoire

 

Alceste, ou Le triomphe d’Alcide is a tragédie en musique in a prologue and five acts by Jean-Baptiste Lully. The French-language libretto is by Philippe Quinault, after Euripides’ Alcestis. It was first performed at the Paris Opéra on 19 January 1674.

The opera was presented in celebration of King Louis XIV’s victory against Franche-Comté, and the prologue features nymphs longing for his return from battle. The opera itself concerns Alceste, princess of Iolcos and queen of Thessaly, who in the first act is abducted by Licomède (Lycomedes), king of Scyros, with the aid of his sister Thetis, a sea nymph; Aeolus, the god of the winds; and other supernatural forces. In the battle to rescue her, Alcide (Hercules) is triumphant, but Alceste’s husband, Admète (Admetus), suffers a mortal wound. Apollo agrees to let Admète live if someone will take his place in death. Alceste volunteers herself but is rescued by Alcide, who loves her. The opera ends with a celebration of Alceste’s return from the underworld and of Alcide’s noble gallantry in returning her to her husband and relinquishing any claims to her.

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Fri, 23 Oct 2009 14:47:36 +0000
Jean-Baptiste Lully - Les Divertissements de Versailles http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/11240-jean-baptiste-lully-les-divertissements-de-versailles.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/11240-jean-baptiste-lully-les-divertissements-de-versailles.html Jean-Baptiste Lully - Les Divertissements de Versailles

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01. Psyché - prélude pour les trompettes
02. Psyché - Chantons les plaisirs charmants
03. L'amour médecin - Quittons notre vaine querelle
04. Georges Dandin - Chantons tous de l'amour
05. Armide - enfin il est en ma puissance
06. Les plaisirs de l'Île enchantée -Chère Climène, dis-moi
07. Isis - Je vous aime, nymphe charmante & Plainte du Dieu Pan
08. Isis - Duo des nymphes
09. Georges Dandin -Laisse-nous en repos, Philène
10. Isis - Scène du froid: L'hiver qui nous tourmente
11. Isis - Scène des forges: Que le feu des forges s'allume
12. Ballet des Muses - Trop indiscret Amour
13. Roland - Ah! J'attendrai longtemps
14. Armide - Armide, vous m'allez quitter, Passacaille

Sophie Daneman (Soprano), 
Rinat Shaham (Soprano), 
Cyril Auvity (Countertenor),
Isabelle Obadia (Soprano), 
François Bazola (Bass),
Isabelle Obadia (Soprano), 
Emmanuelle Halimi (Soprano),
Boris Grappe (Bass),
Laurent Slaars (Tenor),
Paul Agnew (Countertenor),
Olivier Lallouette (Bass)

Les Arts Florissants
William Christie – director, 2002

 

"The Best of Lully" probably isn't quite right, but this CD certainly shows the quintessential French Baroque composer at his most affable, dramatic, short-winded, and inventive. All of the music here was composed for the amusement of Louis XIV--you can almost see the flowing powdered wigs and painted-on beauty marks. Lully's formality and French Baroque mannerisms can tire the ear after a while, and I've discovered that listening to this 78 minutes all at once is not a good idea. But having said that, it's pretty gorgeous stuff, and pretty varied as well.

Of course we get our fill of nymphs and swains, shepherds and shepherdesses; and needless to say, everyone's mythological. But the levity of music from George Dandin, one of Lully's comedies, is very different from Armide's or Roland's. In fact, it's in the darker moments where we realize that psychological insights are not absent despite the frou-frou trappings. The duet between Armide and Renaud is fraught with passion and it's nicely underlined throughout by the subtle, commenting orchestra, which in Lully takes precedence over the voice for the most part. The excerpts from Isis are wonderful, particularly the justly famous "Shivering" chorus, which is witty as well as handsome.

The performances are faultless. Paul Agnew's haute-contre remains one of the French Baroque's joys, and here another, named Cyril Auvity, with an even lighter voice (can these people be heard in an opera house?) is equally impressive. Sophie Daneman is fine as ever, and Rinat Shaham, as Armide (in one of the excerpts--the role changes hands later) is potent and vengeful. Olivier Lallouette's Roland is imposing despite how essentially light his bass voice is. (He's sort of an haute-contre in bass clothing and register). As always, William Christie and his instrumental and choral forces are superb, and Erato has recorded it all beautifully. But can anyone tell me why excerpts from the same opera are not presented consecutively? Why are the Armide bits tracks 5 and 14 and the George Dandin highlights 4 and 9? Highly recommended anyway, especially for those wanting a dip into Lully rather than an entire operatic submersion. ---Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:33:14 +0000
Jean-Baptiste Lully - Les Sentiments - Le Triomphe De Lamour (2009) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/12333-jean-baptiste-lully-les-sentimens-le-triomphe-de-lamour.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/12333-jean-baptiste-lully-les-sentimens-le-triomphe-de-lamour.html Jean-Baptiste Lully - Les Sentiments - Le Triomphe De Lamour (2009)


1.Tranquilles Coeurs Aus Le Triomphe de Lamour
2.Ouverture Aus Phaeton
3.Heureux Qui Peut Voir Du Rivages Aus Phaeton
4.Heureuse Une Ame Indifferente Aus Phaeton
5.Nous Icy Aus Armide
6.Air Pour Les Demons ET Les Monstres Aus Amadis
7.Je Vais Partir Belle Hermione Aus Cadmus ET Hermione
8.Amour Voy Quels Maux Tu Nous Fais Aus Cadmus ET Hermione
9.Toy Qui Dans Ce Tombeau Aus Amadis
10.A Tu Me Trahis Aus Amadis
11.Chaconne Aus Amadis
12.Ouverture Aus Bellerophon
13.Que Ce Jardin se Change En Un Desert Affreux Aus Bellerophon
14.Premier Air Aus Bellerophon
15.Quel Spectacle Charmant Aus Bellerophon
16.Ah  Si la Liberte Me Doit Etre Ravie Aus Armide
17.Passacaille Aus Armide
18.Le Perfide Renaud Me Fuit Aus Armide
19.Florestan Corisande Aus Amadis
20.Les Vents Impetueux Aus Persee
21.Tu de Moy Aus Amadis

Performer: Eugène Michelangeli

 

Lully held prominent positions in the court of Louis XIV of France and was the most influential composer in the country during the latter part of the 17th century. Le Triomphe de l’Amour, with libretto by Isaac de Benserade and Philippe Quinault, is a ballet de cour, which combines dance with sung comedie. It was first performed at Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1681 marking the arrival of Marie-Anne-Christine-Victoire of Bavaria, who was to marry the dauphin. The first public performances later that year are noteworthy for having the first appearances of professional female dancers. Music abounded at court and Louis was known as an accomplished dancer. It was not unusual for members of the court to take part in the private performances and the dauphin is reported to have appeared as Pleasure, in this work. This copy of the ballet includes 17th-century performance markings and the composer’s autograph paraph. --- lib.stanford.edu

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Sat, 09 Jun 2012 20:14:45 +0000
Jean-Baptiste Lully - Petits Motets (Christie) [1992] http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/14247-jean-baptiste-lully-petits-motets-christie-1992.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/14247-jean-baptiste-lully-petits-motets-christie-1992.html Jean-Baptiste Lully - Petits Motets (Christie) [1992]

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1. Omnes Gentes 
2. Regina Coeli 
3. O Sapientia 
4. Laudate Pueri
5. Salve Regina
6. Exaudi Deus 
7. Anima Christi
8. Ave Coeli 
9. Dixit Dominus
10. O Dulcissime
11. Domine Salvum Regem

Eric Bellocq - Theorbo
Marie Boyer - Mezzo-Soprano 
François Fauche - Bass 
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt - Tenor 
Gérard Lesne - Haute Contre Vocal
Frédéric Martin - Violin
Elisabeth Matiffa - Basse de Viole
Arlette Steyer - Soprano 
Monique Zanetti - Soprano 

Les Arts Florissants 
William Christie - Director, Organ

 

Christie and his eloquent group next turn their attention to even rarer repertoire, Lully's Italianate petits motets (they range in length from two to nine minutes). They are written for three voices, usually sopranos - since the music was intended for a Paris convent choir - and the sopranos here are appealingly fresh-voiced. The discreet yet telling continuo (with Christie himself at the organ) is a delight and the performances have an airy lightness of touch. -- Ivan March, Gramophone [10/1998]

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Sun, 09 Jun 2013 16:13:54 +0000
Jean-Baptiste Lully - Te Deum, LWV 55 (Capdevielle) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/13101-jean-baptiste-lully-te-deum-lwv-55-capdevielle.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/13101-jean-baptiste-lully-te-deum-lwv-55-capdevielle.html Jean-Baptiste Lully - Te Deum, LWV 55 (Capdevielle)

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1.Symphonie 	
2.Patrem immensae majestatis 	
3.Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes 	
4.Salvum fac populum tuum 	
5.Dignare Domine 
6.In te Domine speravi 

Claudine Collart, soprano
Marie-Thérèse Cahn, contralto
Gerard Friedmann, tenor
Georges Abdoun, bass

Vocal Ensemble of Paris
New Chamber Orchestra of Paris
Pierre Capdevielle - conductor

15-17.06.1953 in Apollo Theatre, Paris

 

On 8 January 1687, Lully was conducting a Te Deum in honor of Louis XIV's recent recovery from illness.

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Mon, 05 Nov 2012 17:40:50 +0000
Jean-Baptiste Lully – Amadis (Reyne) [2006] http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/18511-jean-baptiste-lully-amadis-reyne-2006.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/18511-jean-baptiste-lully-amadis-reyne-2006.html Jean-Baptiste Lully – Amadis (Reyne) [2006]

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Disc: 1
  1. Prologue
  2. Ah, I hear a noise that presses us
  3. Spirits attentive to pleasing us
  4. First Air
  5. Second Air (Gigue)
  6. When Amadis perished, profound suffering
  7. Let us bring Amadis out of the eternal night
  8. Let us follow Love, which leads us
  9. Fly, tender cupids, Amadis is going to live again
  10. Overture (Reprise)
  11. I return to this place to see the one I love
  12. Florestan!
  13. I see Florestan again, I see him faihful once more
  14. March for the Combat of the Barrier
  15. First Air of the Combattants
  16. Second Air
  17. Fair Princess, how your charms
  18. March for the Combat of the Barrier (Reprise)

Disc: 2
  1. Love, what do you wish of me?
  2. Into a fatal trap does his fate lead him
  3. Dense wood, double your shadow
  4. O cruel Fortune!
  5. Halt, bold one
  6. Air for the Demons and Monsters
  7. Symphony of Enchantments
  8. No, no, to be invincible
  9. Air for the Demons and Monsters (Reprise)
  10. Love and sigh, faithful hearts
  11. You must no longer await
  12. Is it you, Oriane?
  13. Nymphes Small Chorus (Reprise)
  14. Heaven! Put an end to our suffering
  15. Shall we suffer this inhuman harshness forever?
  16. It is time to cease your tiresome moaning
  17. Florestan!
  18. Console yourselves in your torments
  19. You who are no more than a cinder in this tomb
  20. Ah! You betray me, wretched woman
  21. No, nothing will stop the fury that drives me
  22. Let us come out of slavery
  23. First Air
  24. Second Air
  25. Let us come out of slavery (Reprise)

Disc: 3
  1. By my enchantments Oriane is captive
  2. To whom might I have recourse?
  3. I hear you, cease your pretending
  4. What do I see? O hideous spectacle!
  5. What a pleasure to see
  6. I subjugate Hell, the earth and the waters to my laws
  7. Hearts overcome by inhuman harshness
  8. Demons, subjected to our laws
  9. In olden times, Apollidon, by magic power
  10. Close forever, my eyes, my sad eyes
  11. At last, your hearts are reunited
  12. It is time for you to stop
  13. Faithful hearts, your steadfastness
  14. Chaconne
  15. Let us sing, one and all, on this day

Françoise Masset - Corisande
Céline Ricci - Arcabonne
Guillemette Laurens - Oriane
François-Nicolas Geslot - Amadis
Bertrand Chuberre - Florestan
Florian Westphal - Arcalaüs
Camille Poul - Urgande

La Simphonie du Marais
Choeur du Marais

Hugo Reyne – director

 

After hearing Reyne's performance of Lully's 'Isis', which was excellent, as well as a number of his other recordings, I was a little disappointed by this. The soloists perform well, so does the orchestra, but overall, it's a little limp sounding. The music, while beautiful, lacks the energy found in many of Lully's other operas. The fact that it's from a concert performance may explain this a little, and the fact that the applause was recorded at the beginning of the work takes away from the atmosphere. But 'Amadis' is an opera well worth performing, and this recording will satisfy for now. ---Zaida, amazon.com

 

It was Louis XIV himself who asked Lully and his librettist Quinault to base an opera on Montalvo's early 16th C 'Amadis de Gaula', thus breaking with the usual mythological subjects and giving them an opportunity to change significantly the general intention of the tragedie lyrique genre. For the first time the prologue is closely linked to the main body of the work. The 'symphonic' pieces, supported by trumpets and kettledrums, are quite remarkable, especially the final chaconne, which is probably the finest in the whole of French opera. The arias are full of feeling, with the famous 'Bois epais', 'Tu me trahis, malheureux', 'Il m'appelle' moving constantly between heroic courage and the sadness caused by fearful love.

'Amadis', premiered in Paris in 1684, was performed constantly in the capital until 1772 . --- multikulti.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Mon, 28 Sep 2015 16:08:54 +0000
Jean-Baptiste Lully – Persée (2004) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/14697-jean-baptiste-lully--persee-2004.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/14697-jean-baptiste-lully--persee-2004.html Jean-Baptiste Lully – Persée (2004)

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1. Persee   2:06:29

Perseus - Cyril Auvity
Phinee - Alain Coulombe
Cephée, Méduse - Olivier Laquerre
Andromède - Marie Lenormand
Cassiope - Stephanie Novacek

Tafelmusik Chamber Choir
Tafelmusik Chamber Orchestra
conductor - Hervé Niquet

Opera Atelier (Toronto, Canada) – 2004

 

Jean-Baptiste Lully is regarded as the founder of French opera. Persée (1682) is one of Lully's greatest works for the stage. The opera concerns Perseus son of Jupiter, his love for Andromeda, and his killing of the snake-headed gorgon Medusa. The music is enchanting, with lots of celebratory choruses and orchestral divertissements.

The production on the new DVD is from a 2004 performance that was recorded live at the Elgin Theatre, Toronto. The production is sheer delight. The settings are beautiful and the costumes are sumptuous. The atmosphere of the rich artistic life at the court of Louis XV is effectively recreated using the décor, costumes and actors movements. The choreography of the dances seems to me as a very successful effort to restore dance movements of the French baroque style. To sum up, it is a feast for the eye.

The conductor is Hervé Niquet. He is doing a great job. The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra produces precise and transparent sound on period instruments. The lutes are very prominent, and there are beautiful woodwinds solos (especially oboes). The Tafelmusik chorus is invisible but sings excellently. All the singers are great, with very beautiful voices, idiomatic baroque singing and excellent French.

The opera is called Persee, but Persee has not too much music to sing. It is a pity, because Cyril Auvity (tenor or haute contre) has one of the sweetest voices I have heard lately. One has to mention soprano Monica Whicher that is very moving as the wretched Merope (she loves Persee, but he is in love with Andromède, the excellent Marie Lenormand).

Technical quality is first class. Highly recommended. --- T. C., amazon.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Mon, 02 Sep 2013 16:17:15 +0000
Jean-Baptiste Lully – Thésée (1998) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/14726-jean-baptiste-lully--thesee-1998.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/14726-jean-baptiste-lully--thesee-1998.html Jean-Baptiste Lully – Thésée (1998)

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1. Theseus	2:23:27

Soloist of the Académie du Festival d'Ambronay
Ambronay European Baroque Academy
William Christie – conductor

Auditorium de Lyon (Lyon, France)

 

Jean-Baptiste Lully was the dominant force in French music during the reign of Louis XIV. His operas reflect the ideas and visions of the king. A good example of this is 'Thésée', which was Lully’s third 'tragédie-lyrique'. It was a resounding success. Its popularity was such that almost thirty performances in the Paris Opéra and in the royal residences are documented between 1675, when the first performance took place, and 1779. It was then taken out of the repertoire by the Opéra as it was considered a bit old-fashioned.

Let me first give a synopsis. King Aegeus of Athens has promised to marry the sorceress Medea. But he falls in love with Aegle, although she loves Theseus, son of the king (although still unrecognized as such), who also loves her. Aegeus strikes a deal with Medea, who has set her eyes on Theseus: she gets him, he gets Aegle. This is summed up in their duet: "Happy are two inconstant lovers when they are inconstant at the same time". But Theseus and Aegle don't want to be split up. Therefore Medea uses all her powers to destroy their love. But it doesn't have the effect she hoped.

Theseus, who has played a crucial role in the defence of Athens against its enemies, is going to be named crown prince at the request of the Athenian people. But when Medea learns that Theseus is in fact Aegeus's son, she talks the king into giving Theseus a poisoned chalice during the ceremony. Only in this way can he avoid losing his power and losing Aegle. But just as he is about to do so he recognizes Theseus by his sword as his own son and makes way for Theseus to marry Aegle. Seeing that her manipulations have had no effect Medea takes revenge: "the palace appears ablaze, and the dishes prepared for the feast change into horrible creatures". The people pray to the gods, and then Minerva appears to put everything right. The opera ends in a duet with chorus, praising the power of love.

Operas in France were written within a specific political and social context. When Philippe Quinault started to write the text, France was in the middle of a war, in which it was threatened from several sides at the same time. This must have inspired Quinault to choose this subject: in the first act we hear how Athens is in the middle of a war, in which Theseus is heroically defending the city against its enemies. The battles are depicted here by choruses of soldiers, who time and again sing: "We must perish, we must perish, we must triumph or die". The orchestra plays with trumpets and timpani. But it is also in this act where Aegle declares her love for Theseus.

Although the opera is named after Theseus its central character is Medea. It is her machinations which decide the course of events. The subject of the opera – the conflict between love and war – is most clearly depicted in the direct confrontation between Medea and Aegle. The first is completely overwhelmed by thoughts of revenge and is willing to do everything to realise her wishes, whereas Aegle is true to her love and is even willing to sacrifice Theseus in order to save his life. The casting of these two roles is very convincing. Laura Pudwell gives a brilliant characterisation of the role of Medea. She has a very strong low register which she uses to great effect to express the anger of Medea. The sharp edges of her voice contrast nicely with the much sweeter voice of Ellen Hargis who gives a moving portrayal of Aegle. Harry van der Kamp does well in portraying the somewhat split personality of King Aegeus, good-hearted and loving on one hand, treacherous on the other. The role of Theseus is less well developed, but Howard Crook – a veteran in French baroque opera – sings that role quite beautifully. The other characters, some of which appear only in one or two acts, are all well cast – in fact, there are no weak links here.

The choir and orchestra deserve special mention. They play a very important role in French baroque opera. The choir, including members of the cast, is excellent and sings with great power and energy. The orchestra is very colourful and plays the instrumental dances with great flair and rhythmic flexibility. Choir and orchestra are decisive in making the most dramatic moments really telling, like the closing scenes when Medea unleashes her full powers to take revenge and Minerva and her followers intervene.

It is understandable that Lully's Theseus was a great success and was regularly performed for more than a century after it was created. It is definitely one of Lully's masterpieces. In general I tend to think that his younger contemporary Charpentier was a greater dramatist, but here Lully demonstrates that he knows how to create a musical drama. And this performance makes that abundantly clear. --- Johan van Veen, musicweb-international.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Sat, 07 Sep 2013 14:57:50 +0000
Lully - Acis & Galatée (Minkowski) [1998] http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/12338-lully-acis-a-galatee-minkowski.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/12338-lully-acis-a-galatee-minkowski.html Lully - Acis & Galatée (Minkowski) [1998]

Disc 1
	1	Ouverture			
	2	Prelude: Qu'avec Plaisir Je Reviens En Ces Lieux			
	3	Menuet			
	4	Premier air			
	5	Marche			
	6	Dans Les Jours De Rejouissance			
	7	Air			
	8	Prelude: Apollon En Ce Jour			
	9	Apollon Flatte Nos Voeux			
	10	Air			
	11	Menuet			
	12	Reprise Of The Overture			
	13	Prelude: C'est En Vain Qu'en Ces Lieux			
	14	Prelude: Vous N'etes Pas Le Seul			
	15	Prelude: Faudra-t-il Encor Vous Attendre			
	16	Ritournelle/J'ai Cru Trouver Ici La Nymphe			
	17	Quoi? M'arretrerez-vous En Depit De Moi-meme?			
	18	Entry Of The Group Of Shepherds/Mais Quels concerts Se Font Entendre?			
	19	Que L'amour Qui Nous Enchaine			
	20	Premier air			
	21	Que Les Plus Galantes Fetes			
	22	Air			
	23	March For The Entry Of Polyphemus/Le Fier Polypheme S'avance/Je Regarde Partout			
	24	Que Tardons-nous?			
	25	Entracte (Air)			

Disc 2
	1	Ritournelle: Quoi? vous Avez Promis D'assister A La Fete			
	2	De Mon Fidele Amant			
	3	Quelque Fureur Qi L'inspire			
	4	Quelle Erreur Loin De Nous Precipitie Ses Pas!			
	5	Chaconne: Qu'une Injuste Fierte			
	6	Marche: Qu'a L'envi Chacun Se Presse			
	7	Second Air			
	8	Je Sui Content De Votre Zele			
	9	Chaque Moment Me Tue			
	10	Symphonie: Vous Qui Dans Ces Lieux Solitaires			
	11	Les Voici, Ces Tendres Amants/Que Vois-je?/Fuyons Sa Violence Extreme			
	12	Prelude: Quel Chemin Ont-ils Pris			
	13	Allez, Eloignez-vous			
	14	Prelude: Il Est Mort, L'insolent!			
	15	Prelude: Enfin J'ai Dissipe La Crainte			
	16	Prelude: Je Sors De Mes Grottes Profondes			
	17	Prelude: Que Votre Sang Se Change			
	18	Passacaille: Sous Ses Lois L'Amour Veut Qu'on Jouisse

Performer: 
Véronique Gens (Soprano), 
Laurent Naouri (Baritone), 
Howard Crook (Tenor),
Mireille Delunsch (Soprano), 
Thierry Félix (Baritone), 
Françoise Masset (Soprano),
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (Tenor),

Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski – conductor

 

The pastoral tragedy Acis et Galatée was Lully's last finished work, a three-act extravaganza complete with an opening Prologue, a closing Passacaglia, and assorted dances interspersed throughout. In the right performance, it is at once an inspiring work, a relaxing work, and even an entertaining work -- and this performance by the Choeurs des Musiciens du Louvre led by Marc Minkowski is surely the right performance. With a superlative cast including the powerfully persuasive Jean-Paul Fouchécourt and the charmingly compelling Véronique Gens in the title roles, plus the characterful Laurent Naouri as Polyphéme, Minkowski captures, contains, and controls all the many elements of the work -- its nobility, its sensuality, its lyricism, its drama, and even its humor -- and expresses them as aspects of a single, unified art work. With clean, cool, and crystalline sound from Archiv, Acis et Galatée receives a production that will no doubt thrill fans of the genre in general and fans of the composer in particular. And for fans who don't already know either the genre or the composer, this is an ideal place to start. ---James Leonard, All Music Guide

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Sun, 10 Jun 2012 19:14:13 +0000
Lully - Cadmus & Hermione (2008) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/22230-lully-cadmus-a-hermione-2008.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/689-jeanbaptistelully/22230-lully-cadmus-a-hermione-2008.html Lully - Cadmus & Hermione (2008)

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1. Cadmus & Hermione	2:00:51

CADMUS, son of Agenor, king of Tyre and brother of Europa : André Morsch
HERMIONE, daughter of Mars and Venus : Claire Lefilliâtre
THE GOD PAN / ARBAS, an African in Cadmus' following : Arnaud Marzorati
ARCAS, companion of Pan / NURSE OF HERMIONE : Jean-François Lombard
MELISSE, divinity of forests and mountains / CHARITE, companion of Hermione : Isabelle Druet
PALES, goddess of shepherds / LOVE : Camille Poul
AGLANTE, another companion of Hermione / JUNO : Luanda Siqueira
DRACO, giant, king of Aonia / MARS : Arnaud Richard
THE HIGH PRIEST OF MARS / JUPITER : Geoffroy Buffière
THE SUN / first Tirian prince : David Ghilardi
Second Tirian prince : Vincent Vantyghem
ENVY / First African : Romain Champion
PALLAS : Eugénie Warnier
Second African : Anthony Lo Papa
ECHION, a soldier : Jeroen Bredelwold
Ensemble (soloists, dancers, chorus and orchestra) : Le Poème Harmonique
Musical direction : Vincent Dumestre

 

The event of the year! Three years after Le Poème Harmonique's European DVD release of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (which sold 25,000+ copies), the team led by Vincent Dumestre and Benjamin Lazar has produced Cadmus & Hermione, the very first French opera, composed in 1673 by Lully on a libretto by Quinault. With reconstructed sets and costumes, this entirely candle-lit production will become a landmark in the rediscovery of baroque opera, providing a unique opportunity to discover a musical masterpiece that has fallen into oblivion over the last three centuries. Playable in all regions. Approx run time 120 min. --- Editorial Reviews, amazon.com

 

Most of the critics are saying the same thing: twenty years on (they're thinking of Atys), Lully is back with a bang. Atys is seen in France as Baroque opera's first "popular" smash hit. Villégier set it, not in period scenery and stage costumes, but in the marble halls, silver furnishings, black, grey and silver court mourning dress and white wigs of Versailles in the latter years of Louis XIV. This time, with Cadmus et Hermione (the work that won Lully his royal patronage) the production attempts to go HIP all the way.

Those who have seen Benjamin Lazar's production of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme on DVD will immediately get the idea: period sets and machinery, with billowing pasteboard clouds, serpents and dragons on wires, Apollo and Mars descending from the skies on thrones, Cupid flying through the air; lavish, colourful costumes using up acres of brocade, yards of gold fringe and an aviary of dyed feathers, and including some of those fantasy outfits you can still buy prints of at the Louvre: a pastry chef, a game of chequers and chess...; batteries of (real) candles for soft, warm lighting; period dancing, gestures and even pronunciation (for anyone interested, there's an essay on that in the Pléiade edition of Racine).

The result is a softly glowing, old-master-like display of "total art" 200 years before Wagner, and people love it: "Just like being at the court of Louis XIV," the ladies beside me gushed. The trouble, for me, is that the distancing effect of the whole enterprise, hieratic gestures and all, prevents any real emotion emerging, other than from the orchestra. Perhaps with a director and singers a notch more experienced? Under Villégier and Christie, Guillemette Laurens and Guy de Mey managed to project outbursts of anger or grief beyond the conventions. Here, the young singers (not one of whom I'm aware of having come across before. Where did they all come from, I wondered - the newspaper critic I asked at the interval had no idea either) remained imprisoned in their greasepaint.

They made nevertheless a strong team: plenty of sweet young voices with good tuning and diction and some excellent cameos: L'Amour, La Nourrice (an haute-contre in drag) and an excellent Arnaud Marzorati as the cowardly braggart Arbas. The weak point, unfortunately, was Hermione: Claire Lefilliâtre seemed to have Guillemette Laurens' faults (perilous tuning, shaky lines) but none of her dramatic strengths (Laurens was a powerful Cybèle, even on CD).

Vincent Dumestre took a more rustic than elegant approach to Lully, which suited me but not that critic I chatted with over the sandwiches.

Overall, a change - no doubt about that - from Eurotrash, but to be frank the exercise is to me more a splendid curiosity than a flesh-and-blood operatic experience and, by the end, verging on tedious. I wouldn't want more than one such production a year, if that - though of course I'd love lots, lots more Lully. --- npw-opera-concerts.blogspot.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Lully Jean Baptiste Tue, 12 Sep 2017 14:45:37 +0000