The latest in Hervé Niquet's 'reinvigorations' of French operatic music from the Baroque and beyond for Glossa is Rameau’s 1747 'Les Fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour'. A ballet heroïque in a prologue and three entrées, the whole work was designed to comprise a complete theatrical spectacle. Music for dancing – as befits a ballet – is given a prominent role and Rameau is able to create especially expressive symphonies and to give the choruses – even a double-chorus – an integral role in the action. Added to this are supernatural effects, and plots for the entrées which explored the then uncommon world of Egyptian mythology (including a musical depiction of the flooding of the River Nile).
The remarkable Hypermnestre by Charles- Hubert Gervais is the latest unremembered early 18th-century French opera to be recorded afresh for Glossa, and conducted by György Vashegyi.
The remarkable Hypermnestre by Charles-Hubert Gervais is the latest unremembered early 18th-century French opera to be recorded afresh for Glossa, and conducted by György Vashegyi.
Like olives, artichokes, and more essentially and problematically, anchovies, Patricia Petibon's voice is an acquired taste. She is a high coloratura (up to E-flat), her technique is formidable, capable of great floridity and very fine breath control, she sings mostly without vibrato, and the tone can be so diamond-brilliant that it can grate, although for darker dramatic moments she can moderate the shine.
A contemporary of Mozart, Johann Christoph Vogel also died at an early age. Forward looking in approach, this composer of a tormented disposition, sought to extend the operatic revolution undertaken by Gluck in the 1770s. First performed in 1786 at the Opéra de Paris, 'La Toison d’or' reveals that search for an expressive art which demanded an all-embracing involvement from the performers and supplied the music with a sometimes unbearable intensity for audiences of the time.
I know of no Rameau work more colourful, more melodious, more replete with inventive vitality, wrote Gramophone in reviewing this 1973 premiere recording of the French Baroque masters 1735 heroic ballet Les Indes galantes. There is immense enthusiasm and spirit in this performance [and] some excellent singing Among the array of sopranos I was specially impressed by the full, bright ring of Rachel Yakar Anne-Marie Rodde: a good stylist and a clean, accurate voice, coping well with Rameaus florid detail The tenor Bruce Brewer is a real find for the lyrical French roles: his voice is very smooth and graceful In all, a set which no Rameau admirer should miss. Conducted by Rameau specialist Jean-Claude Malgoire, it is now being issued for the first time on CD.
This luxurious set containing 39 CDs, 3 DVDs, 1 CD-Rom and four detailed booklets will tell you the full story of Baroque opera in Italy, France, England, and Germany. No fewer than 17 complete operas (including two on DVD) and two supplementary CDs (the dawn of opera, Overtures for the Hamburg Opera) provide the most comprehensive overview of the genre ever attempted! The finest performers are assembled here under the direction of René Jacobs and William Christie to offer you 47 hours of music. An opportunity to discover or to hear again the masterpieces of Baroque opera, some of which have been unavailable on CD for many years.