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J.P. Rameau – Anacreon (1982)

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J.P. Rameau – Anacreon (1982)

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Ballet en un acte et 5 scenes
1. Scene 1
2. Scene 2 play
3. Scene 3
4. Scene 4
5. Scene 5

René Schirrer (Anacréon)
Les Arts Florissants
William Christie – director


The Baroque period produced a number of very great composers, and although many of them were highly versatile, producing masterpieces in a variety of media, there were also areas of unquestioned specialization. Bach wrote cantatas, Handel did operas and oratorios, Scarlatti was the great composer for the keyboard, Vivaldi mastered the concerto, and Rameau was the great ballet composer of his day. Most of his dance music was inserted into operas or other theatrical works, and it's perfectly possible to extract it in the form of orchestral suites, as is the case here. Performances are expert, and the music itself is prime Baroque. --David Hurwitz

Anacréon is an opera by the French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau, first performed at the Opéra, Paris, on 31 May 1757 as part of a revised version of the opéra-ballet Les surprises de l'Amour. It takes the form of a one-act acte de ballet and has a libretto by Pierre-Joseph-Justin Bernard. Rameau had written another opera with the same title in 1754. The earlier work has a libretto by Louis de Cahusac and a completely different plot. Both are linked by the figure of the ancient Greek lyric poet Anacreon. The second Anacréon was composed to be the third entrée of a revised version of Rameau's opéra-ballet Les surprises de l'Amour. The work had originally been staged in 1748 and when it came to be revived in 1757 the allegorical prologue, referring to the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, was no longer relevant. This meant that the work now only contained two entrées so another act had to be written of roughly the same length as the prologue. The revised Les surprises de l'Amour was a great success. Anacréon was also performed as a separate work in 1769 and 1771, after Rameau's death.

William Christie was a pioneer in the performance of French baroque music, and this 1981 recording shows how even very early on, he had just the right touch. The orchestra is brilliant, and special kudos to the flutes who have some great moments that set a distinctive mood. The solo voices all excel, and the whole group make a delightful sound.



Anacréon - (acte de ballet) – jednoaktowa opera-balet z roku 1757 , później wykorzystana także jako III entrée opery-baletu Les Surprises de l’Amour(Niespodzianki miłości). Typowa dla francuskiej tradycji operowej i dla twórczości Jeana-Philippe’a Rameau opera – balet skomponowana dla opery w Paryżu na sezon roku.

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Last Updated (Monday, 31 March 2014 20:58)


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