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Christophe Rousset - Lully : Alceste

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Lully : Alceste

Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset

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Everyone thinks that they know Alceste by Lully, and yet this 1674 masterpiece has almost never been recorded in its entirety. Apart from the Malgoire version from 1975 with Bruce Brewer and Felicity Palmer, which is starting to become outdated, the real treat is a second versoin by the same Malgoire twenty years later with Jean-Philippe Lafont and Colette Alliot-Lugaz... And so we can only take our hats off to the new discographical opus from Christophe Rousset's Talens Lyriques, a lively and elegant reading which allows us to rediscover everything that was so innovative about this brilliant, effervescent Florentine, who would become a typical Versaillais, a courtesan and a wheeler-dealer. King Louis XIV - 36 years old, still with all his own teeth and a victorious war leader - could only feel flattered by the piece signed by Quinault: Alcide, who covets the beautiful Alceste (who has been promised to Admetus), is none other than Hercules himself - Louis XIV seeing himself in Hercules saving the beautiful Madame de Montespan from the clutches of her husband. 

To be sure, in this opera, Admetus/Hercules magnanimously hands Alceste, whom he has saved from hell, to her husband, while the poor Mr Montespan would end his career and his life exiled in Gascony... Honour intact. The Sun King loved the work, to the point that he commanded that rehearsals be held at Versailles. According to Madame de Sévigné, "The King declared that if he found himself in Paris when it was performed, he would go to see it every night." That being said, if Alceste suited the tastes of the court, it didn't do so well in Paris, where Lully's enemies, jealous of the extravagant privileges that he had won (the exclusive right to "have sung any whole piece in France, wither in French verse or in other languages, without the written permission of said Sir Lully, on pain of a ten thousand livre fine, and confiscation of theatres, equipment, decorations, costumes..."), heaped plot upon plot, while the gallant Mercury sang his little couplet: Dieu !  Le bel opéra ! Rien de plus pitoyable ! Cerbère y vient japper d'un aboi lamentable !  Oh ! Quelle musique de chien ! Oh ! Quelle musique du diable ! [Lord!/Fine opera!/There's nothing so pitiable!/Cerberus is yapping, his howls lamentable!/What doggish music!/What devilish music!]. Posterity would decide otherwise, and Rousset proved it triumphantly. © SM/Qobuz

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Lully : Alceste

Christophe Rousset

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DISC 1

Alceste, LWV 50 (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

1
Prologue : Ouverture 00:02:31

Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

2
Prologue : Le héros que j'attends (La Nymphe de la Seine) 00:01:52

Lucía Martín-Cartón, Soprano (La Nymphe de la Seine) - Les Talens Lyriques - Jean-Baptiste Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

3
Prologue : Bruit de guerre 00:00:21

Les Talens Lyriques - Jean-Baptiste Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

4
Prologue : Rondeau pour la Gloire 00:01:13

Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

5
Prologue : Hélas ! superbe Gloire, hélas ! (La Nymphe de la Seine, la Gloire) 00:03:28

Lucía Martín-Cartón, Soprano (Nymphe de la Seine) - Judith van Wanroij, Soprano (La Gloire) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

6
Prologue : Qu'il est doux d'accorder ensemble (Le chœur des Naïades et des divinités champêtres) 00:01:22

Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

7
Prologue : L'Art d'accord avec la Nature (La Nymphe des Tuileries) 00:02:04

Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Nymphe des Tuileries) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

8
Prologue : Air pour les divinités des Fleuves 00:00:53

Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

9
Prologue : L'onde se presse (La Nymphe de la Marne) 00:00:53

Bénédicte Tauran, Soprano (La Nymphe de la Marne) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

10
Prologue : Air pour les divinités des Fleuves et les Nymphes 00:01:38

Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

11
Prologue : Que tout retentisse (La Gloire, les Nymphes, le chœur) 00:01:49

Judith Van Wanroij, Soprano (La Gloire) - Lucía Martín-Cartón, Soprano (Nymphe de la Seine) - Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Nymphe des Tuileries) - Bénédicte Tauran, Soprano (Nymphe de la Marne) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

12
Prologue : Air pour les divinités des Fleuves et les Nymphes 00:00:54

Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

13
Prologue : Quel cœur sauvage (Le chœur des divinités des Fleuves et des Nymphes) 00:01:55

Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

14
Prologue : Revenez Plaisirs exilés (Le chœur des divinités des Fleuves et des Nymphes) 00:00:30

Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

15
Act I, Scene 1 : Ouverture, Reprise 00:01:52

Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

16
Act I, Scene 1 : Vivez, vivez, heureux époux (Le chœur des Thessaliens, Lychas, Alcide) 00:03:37

Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Lychas) - Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

17
Act I, Scene 2 : L'Amour a bien des maux (Alcide, Straton, Lychas) 00:00:20

Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Lychas) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

18
Act I, Scene 3 : Lychas, j'ai deux mots à te dire (Straton, Lychas) 00:03:12

Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Lychas) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

19
Act I, Scene 4 : Dans ce beau jour, quelle humeur sombre (Céphise, Straton) 00:05:10

Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Céphise) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

20
Act I, Scene 5 : Straton, donne ordre qu'on s'apprête (Lycomède, Straton, Céphise) 00:02:43

Douglas Williams, Bass-Baritone (Lycomède) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Céphise) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

21
Act I, Scene 6 : Vivez, vivez, heureux époux (Chœur des Thessaliens, Phérès, Admète, Alceste) 00:00:45

Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Phérès) - Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Judith van Wanroij, Soprano (Alceste) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

22
Act I, Scene 7 : Air pour les matelots (Deux Tritons, Céphise, chœur des divinités marines, Lycomède, Straton, Admète, Alcide, Chœur des Thessaliens, Alceste) 00:09:28

Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (1st Triton) - Emiliano Gonzales-Toro, Tenor (2nd Triton) - Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Céphise) - Douglas Williams, Bass-Baritone (Lycomède) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Judith van Wanroij, Soprano (Alceste) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

23
Act I, Scene 8 : Époux infortuné, redoute ma colère (Thétis, Admète, Alceste, Chœur des Thessaliens) 00:01:31

Bénédicte Tauran, Soprano (Thétis) - Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Judith van Wanroij, Soprano (Alceste) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

24
Act I, Scene 9 : Le ciel protège les héros (Éole, les Aquilons, les Zéphyrs) 00:02:54

Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Éole) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

25
Act II, Scene 1 : Alceste ne vient point (Céphise, Straton) 00:04:46

Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Céphise) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

26
Act II, Scene 2 : Allons, allons, la plainte est vaine (Lycomède, Alceste, Straton) 00:03:21

Douglas Williams, Bass-Baritone (Lycomède) - Judith Van Wanroij, Soprano (Alceste) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

27
Act II, Scene 3 : Marchez, marchez, marchez (Admète, Alcide) 00:02:36

Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

28
Act II, Scene 4 : Marchez, marchez, marchez (Lycomède, Straton, Admète, Alcide, Lychas, Chœur d'assiégeants et d'assiégés) 00:04:13

Douglas Williams, Bass-Baritone (Lycomède) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Lychas) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

29
Act II, Scene 5 : Courage, enfants, je suis à vous (Phérès) 00:02:03

Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Phérès) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

30
Act II, Scene 6 : Rendez à votre fils cette aimable princesse (Alcide, Phérès, Alceste) 00:02:06

Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Phérès) - Judith Van Wanroij, Soprano (Alceste) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

31
Act II, Scene 7 : Cherchons Admète promptement (Alceste, Phérès, Céphise) 00:00:56

Judith Van Wanroij, Soprano (Alceste) - Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Phérès) - Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Céphise) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

32
Act II, Scene 8 : Ô dieux ! quel spectacle funeste (Admète, Cléante, Alceste, Phérès, Céphise) 00:03:59

Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Cléante) - Judith Van Wanroij, Soprano (Alceste) - Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Phérès) - Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Céphise) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

33
Act II, Scene 9 : La lumière aujourd'hui te doit être ravie (Apollon, les Arts, Admète, Alceste, Phérès, Céphise, Cléante, Soldats) 00:02:47

Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Apollon, Phérès) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

DISC 2

Alceste, LWV 50 (Jean-Baptiste Lully)

1
Act III, Scene 1 : Ah ! pourquoi nous séparez-vous ? (Alceste, Phérès, Céphise) 00:04:45

Judith Van Wanroij, Soprano (Alceste) - Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Phérès) - Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Céphise) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

2
Act III, Scene 2 : Voyons encore mon fils, allons, hâtons nos pas (Phérès, Cléante) 00:01:59

Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Phérès) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Cléante) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

3
Act III, Scene 3 : Ô trop heureux Admète (Le chœur, Admète, Phérès, Cléante) 00:03:15

Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Phérès) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Cléante) - Chœur de chambre Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

4
Act III, Scene 4 : Alceste est morte (Céphise, Admète, Phérès, Cléante, le chœur) 00:03:27

Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Céphise) - Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Chœur de chambre Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

5
Act III, Scene 5 : La Mort, la Mort barbare (Pompe funèbre : une femme affligée, Chœur) 00:09:58

Lucía Martín-Cartón, Soprano (Femme affligée) - Chœur de chambre Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

6
Act III, Scene 6 : Sans Alceste, sans ses appas (Admète) 00:01:24

Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

7
Act III, Scene 7 : Tu me vois arrêté sur le point de partir (Alcide, Admète, Phérès, Céphise, Cléante) 00:02:28

Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

8
Act III, Scene 8 : Le dieu dont tu tiens la naissance (Diane, Mercure, Alcide, Admète, Phérès, Céphise, Cléante) 00:01:56

Bénédicte Tauran, Soprano (Diane) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

9
Act IV, Scene 1 : Il faut passer tôt ou tard (Charon, les Ombres) 00:03:42

Douglas Williams, Bass-Baritone (Charon) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

10
Act IV, Scene 2 : Sortez, Ombres, faites-moi place (Alcide, Charon, les Ombres) 00:00:43

Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Douglas Williams, Bass-Baritone (Charon) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

11
Act IV, Scene 3 : Reçois le juste prix de ton amour fidèle (Pluton, Proserpine, l'Ombre d'Alceste, Suivants de Pluton) 00:08:37

Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Pluton) - Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-Soprano (Proserpine) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

12
Act IV, Scene 4 : Quittez, quittez les Jeux, songez à vous défendre (Alecton, Pluton, Proserpine) 00:00:41

Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Alecton) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Pluton) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

13
Act IV, Scene 5 : Insolent, jusqu'ici braves-tu mon courroux ? (Alcide, Pluton, Proserpine, Alecton, Suivants de Pluton) 00:03:45

Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Pluton) - Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-Soprano (Proserpine) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

14
Act V, Scene 1 : Alcide est vainqueur du trépas (Admète, le chœur) 00:02:27

Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Chœur de chambre de Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

15
Act V, Scene 2 : Ne m'ôteras-tu point la chaîne qui m'accable (Straton, Lychas) 00:02:16

Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Lychas) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

16
Act V, Scene 3 : Vois, Céphise, vois qui de nous (Lychas, Straton, Céphise) 00:02:21

Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Lychas) - Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Ambroisine Bré, Mezzo-soprano (Céphise) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

17
Act V, Scene 4 : Pour une si belle victoire (Alcide, Admète, Alceste) 00:05:44

Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Bass-Baritone (Alcide) - Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro, Tenor (Admète) - Judith Van Wanroij, Soprano (Alceste) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

18
Act V, Scene 5 : Les Muses et les Jeux s'empressent de descendre (Apollon, les Muses, les Jeux, Alcide, Admète, Alceste, et leur suite) 00:01:51

Enguerrand de Hys, Tenor (Apollon) - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

19
Act V, Scene 6 : Chantons, chantons, faisons entendre (Le chœur des Muses, des Thessaliens, des bergers, Straton) 00:09:28

Étienne Bazola, Baritone (Straton) - Chœur de chambre Namur - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset, Conductor - Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Little Tribeca Little Tribeca

Album Description

Everyone thinks that they know Alceste by Lully, and yet this 1674 masterpiece has almost never been recorded in its entirety. Apart from the Malgoire version from 1975 with Bruce Brewer and Felicity Palmer, which is starting to become outdated, the real treat is a second versoin by the same Malgoire twenty years later with Jean-Philippe Lafont and Colette Alliot-Lugaz... And so we can only take our hats off to the new discographical opus from Christophe Rousset's Talens Lyriques, a lively and elegant reading which allows us to rediscover everything that was so innovative about this brilliant, effervescent Florentine, who would become a typical Versaillais, a courtesan and a wheeler-dealer. King Louis XIV - 36 years old, still with all his own teeth and a victorious war leader - could only feel flattered by the piece signed by Quinault: Alcide, who covets the beautiful Alceste (who has been promised to Admetus), is none other than Hercules himself - Louis XIV seeing himself in Hercules saving the beautiful Madame de Montespan from the clutches of her husband. 

To be sure, in this opera, Admetus/Hercules magnanimously hands Alceste, whom he has saved from hell, to her husband, while the poor Mr Montespan would end his career and his life exiled in Gascony... Honour intact. The Sun King loved the work, to the point that he commanded that rehearsals be held at Versailles. According to Madame de Sévigné, "The King declared that if he found himself in Paris when it was performed, he would go to see it every night." That being said, if Alceste suited the tastes of the court, it didn't do so well in Paris, where Lully's enemies, jealous of the extravagant privileges that he had won (the exclusive right to "have sung any whole piece in France, wither in French verse or in other languages, without the written permission of said Sir Lully, on pain of a ten thousand livre fine, and confiscation of theatres, equipment, decorations, costumes..."), heaped plot upon plot, while the gallant Mercury sang his little couplet: Dieu !  Le bel opéra ! Rien de plus pitoyable ! Cerbère y vient japper d'un aboi lamentable !  Oh ! Quelle musique de chien ! Oh ! Quelle musique du diable ! [Lord!/Fine opera!/There's nothing so pitiable!/Cerberus is yapping, his howls lamentable!/What doggish music!/What devilish music!]. Posterity would decide otherwise, and Rousset proved it triumphantly. © SM/Qobuz

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