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Raphaël Pichon - Stravaganza d'Amore! Birth of Opera at the Medici Court

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Stravaganza d'Amore! Birth of Opera at the Medici Court

Pygmalion - Raphaël Pichon

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What was the context in which so great a masterpiece such as Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo could be born back in 1607, invested with such beauty, endowed with such profundity of expression and so perfect a structure, at a time when the operatic form was still in its infancy? These are precisely the questions that lie at the origin of this recording project, giving Pichon and his musicians the opportunity to discover the astonishing musico-dramatic productions that preceded L’Orfeo, notably those performed at the Medici court in Florence, in which one may discern the seeds of numerous elements to be found in L’Orfeo. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, it was ovbviously the city of the Medici that was the main focus of one of the most fascinating moments in the history of music: the birth of opera. Concentrating on the years from 1589 to 1611, i.e. the premiere of the intermedi for theatre piece called La pellegrina at one end and the performance in Florence of Marco da Gagliano’s Dafne at the other, Pichon has devised four imaginary “interludes” – inspired by the form of the intermedio so popular at this period – in which he assembled some of the finest examples of the first stirrings of opera, the music pieces of which are signed Lorenzo Allegri, Antonio Brunelli, Giovanni Battista Buonamente, Giulio Caccini, Emilio de’ Cavalieri, Girolamo Fantini, Marco da Gagliano, Cristofano Malvezzi, Luca Marenzio, Alessandro Orologio, Jacopo Peri and Alessandro Striggio. In imitation of the ancient theatre, intermedi were entertainments inserted between the acts of plays, with sumptuous visual effects, which provided a pretext for allegories to the glory of the reigning dynasty. The place of music and the fantastic element in theatrical performances acquired an ever grander and more spectacular character, thanks notably to the genius of set designers and the progress made in the domain of stage machinery. Seeing the artistic and political potential of the genre, the powerful princely families of the northern half of Italy (Gonzagas, Este and Medici, as well as the papal court), encouraged its development. Intermedi ended up occupying so important a place that they became a show within the show, with the aim of dazzling the audience. It was in 1589 that the Florentine tradition of intermedi attained its zenith, with the six sumptuous entertainments devised by Count Bardi to accompany the comedy La pellegrina, performed on the occasion of the wedding of Grand Duke Ferdinando I and Princess Christina of Lorraine, grand-daughter of Catarina de’ Medici. In their variety and novelty, with a balanced combination of polyphony and the nascent monody, not forgetting instrumental and dance music, the intermedi of 1589 opened the way for an integrally sung form of theatre. And indeed it was once again Florence that witnessed the first examples of the Gesamtkunstwerk, the perfect model of the alliance between poetry and music. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, a veritable laboratory was set up in Florence, prompting poets and composers to bring together several forms of musical expression in a single place? Building on the models established by earlier generations, composers continued their experiments with sound-space and the spatialisation of music, what with the proliferation of echo effects in the early monodies, or madrigals featuring dialogues between as many as seven independent choirs. But how can one tell this story nowadays, revive this rich adventure? The solution chosen for this recording was to create from scratch a large-scale imaginary work, resembling an initiatory journey, that would weld these multiple works into a single whole.

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Stravaganza d'Amore! Birth of Opera at the Medici Court

Raphaël Pichon

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DISC 1

All'imperio d'Amore

1
1. Toccata "La Renuccini" 00:01:48

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Girolamo Fantini, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

2
2. O fortunato giorno a 30 "La Pellegrina" 00:03:12

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Cristofano Malvezzi, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

3
3. Ineffabile ardore a 6 "Il rapimento di Cefalo" 00:01:07

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Giulio Caccini, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

4
4. O che felice giorno a voce sola 00:04:20

Pygmalion, Primary - Sophie Junker, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Giulio Caccini, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

5
5. Ineffabile ardore a 6 "Il rapimento di Cefalo" 00:01:01

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Giulio Caccini, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

6
6. La dipartita e amara a 4 00:02:14

Pygmalion, Primary - Safir Behloul, Primary, Soloist - Renaud Bres, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Zachary Wilder, Primary, Soloist - Davy Cornillot, Primary, Soloist - Lucile Richardot, Primary, Soloist - Maïlys De Villoutreys, Primary, Soloist - Luca Marenzio, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

7
7. Ineffabile ardore a 6 "Il rapimento di Cefalo" 00:00:55

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Deborah Cachet, Primary, Soloist - Zachary Wilder, Primary, Soloist - Lucile Richardot, Primary, Soloist - Davy Cornillot, Primary, Soloist - Virgile Ancely, Primary, Soloist - Maïlys De Villoutreys, Primary, Soloist - Giulio Caccini, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

8
8. Non havea Febo ancora a voce sola 00:01:33

Pygmalion, Primary - Renato Dolcini, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Antonio Brunelli, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

9
9. O Giovenil ardire a 10 "I Fabii" 00:02:16

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Alessandro Striggio, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

10
10. Donne le celeste lume a 9 "Stravaganza d'Amore" 00:02:56

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Luca Marenzio, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

La Favolla d'Apollo

11
11. Dal vago e bel sereno a 6 "La Pellegrina" 00:05:19

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Cristofano Malvezzi, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

12
12. O qual risplende a 6 "La Pellegrina" 00:01:36

Pygmalion, Primary - Maïlys De Villoutreys, Primary, Soloist - Nicolas Brooymans, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Deborah Cachet, Primary, Soloist - Zachary Wilder, Primary, Soloist - Lucile Richardot, Primary, Soloist - Davy Cornillot, Primary, Soloist - Cristofano Malvezzi, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

13
13. Ohimè che vegg’io a 5 "La Dafne" 00:01:26

Pygmalion, Primary - Deborah Cachet, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Lucile Richardot, Primary, Soloist - Davy Cornillot, Primary, Soloist - Maïlys De Villoutreys, Primary, Soloist - Nicolas Brooymans, Primary, Soloist - Marco da Gagliano, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

14
14. Qui di carne si sfama a 12 "La Pellegrina" 00:02:21

Pygmalion, Primary - Lucile Richardot, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Zachary Wilder, Primary, Soloist - Luca Marenzio, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

15
15. Apollo affronta il serpente 00:01:02

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Alessandro Orologio, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

16
16. Poi giacque estinto al fine "La Dafne" 00:01:09

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Marco da Gagliano, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

17
17. O mille volte a 8 "La Pellegrina" 00:02:07

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Luca Marenzio, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

18
18. Piangete, Ninfe "La Dafne" 00:04:25

Pygmalion, Primary - Davy Cornillot, Primary, Soloist - Virgile Ancely, Primary, Soloist - Maïlys De Villoutreys, Primary, Soloist - Luciana Mancini, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Deborah Cachet, Primary, Soloist - Zachary Wilder, Primary, Soloist - Marco da Gagliano, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

19
19. Sinfonia a 6 "La Pellegrina" 00:02:35

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Cristofano Malvezzi, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

20
20. Un guardo, un guard’appena "La Dafne" 00:06:24

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Marco da Gagliano, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

21
21. Bella ninfa fuggitiva a 5 "La Dafne" 00:02:26

Pygmalion, Primary - Sophie Junker, Primary, Soloist - Maïlys De Villoutreys, Primary, Soloist - Luciana Mancini, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Marco da Gagliano, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

DISC 2

Le Lagrime d'Orfeo

1
22. Gagliarda a 6 "Primo ballo della Notte d’Amore" 00:01:17

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Lorenzo Allegri, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

2
23. Al canto, al ballo a 5 "Euridice" 00:02:39

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Jacopo Peri - Giulio Caccini, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

3
24. Lassa, che di spavento "Euridice" 00:06:23

Pygmalion, Primary - Luciana Mancini, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Jacopo Peri, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

4
25. Non piango e non sospiro "Euridice" 00:01:55

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Renato Dolcini, Primary, Soloist - Jacopo Peri, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

5
26. Cruda morte. Sospirate aure celesti "Euridice" 00:04:23

Pygmalion, Primary - Maïlys De Villoutreys, Primary, Soloist - Lucile Richardot, Primary, Soloist - Deborah Cachet, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Zachary Wilder, Primary, Soloist - Jacopo Peri, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

6
27. Sinfonia a 6. Spirto del Ciel "Primo ballo della Notte d’Amore" 00:01:22

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Lorenzo Allegri, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

7
28. Funeste piagge "Euridice" 00:04:40

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Renato Dolcini, Primary, Soloist - Giulio Caccini, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

8
29. Udite lagrimosi spirti d’Averno 00:04:20

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Luca Marenzio, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

9
30. Trionfi oggi pietà "Euridice" 00:04:06

Pygmalion, Primary - Safir Behloul, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Virgile Ancely, Primary, Soloist - Giulio Caccini, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

10
31. Gioite al canto mio "Euridice" 00:01:21

Pygmalion, Primary - Renato Dolcini, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Jacopo Peri, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

11
32. Ma che più ? a 5 "Euridice" 00:01:13

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Jacopo Peri, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

Il Ballo degli reali Amanti

12
33. Ballo del Granduca a 7 00:04:28

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Giovanni Battista Buonamente, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

13
34. Dolcissime sirene a 6 "La Pellegrina" 00:01:41

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Cristofano Malvezzi, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

14
35. A voi reali amanti a 15 "La Pellegrina" 00:04:04

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Cristofano Malvezzi, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

15
36. Coppia gentil a 6 "La Pellegrina" 00:01:11

Pygmalion, Primary - Maïlys De Villoutreys, Primary, Soloist - Lucile Richardot, Primary, Soloist - Nicolas Brooymans, Primary, Soloist - Deborah Cachet, Primary, Soloist - Renaud Bres, Primary, Soloist - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Zachary Wilder, Primary, Soloist - Cristofano Malvezzi, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

16
37. O che nuovo miracolo a 5, a 3 "La Pellegrina" 00:05:28

Pygmalion, Primary - Raphael Pichon, Conductor, Primary - Sophie Junker, Primary, Soloist - Luciana Mancini, Primary, Soloist - Maïlys De Villoutreys, Primary, Soloist - Emilio de' Cavalieri, Composer

harmonia mundi 2017

Album Description

What was the context in which so great a masterpiece such as Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo could be born back in 1607, invested with such beauty, endowed with such profundity of expression and so perfect a structure, at a time when the operatic form was still in its infancy? These are precisely the questions that lie at the origin of this recording project, giving Pichon and his musicians the opportunity to discover the astonishing musico-dramatic productions that preceded L’Orfeo, notably those performed at the Medici court in Florence, in which one may discern the seeds of numerous elements to be found in L’Orfeo. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, it was ovbviously the city of the Medici that was the main focus of one of the most fascinating moments in the history of music: the birth of opera. Concentrating on the years from 1589 to 1611, i.e. the premiere of the intermedi for theatre piece called La pellegrina at one end and the performance in Florence of Marco da Gagliano’s Dafne at the other, Pichon has devised four imaginary “interludes” – inspired by the form of the intermedio so popular at this period – in which he assembled some of the finest examples of the first stirrings of opera, the music pieces of which are signed Lorenzo Allegri, Antonio Brunelli, Giovanni Battista Buonamente, Giulio Caccini, Emilio de’ Cavalieri, Girolamo Fantini, Marco da Gagliano, Cristofano Malvezzi, Luca Marenzio, Alessandro Orologio, Jacopo Peri and Alessandro Striggio. In imitation of the ancient theatre, intermedi were entertainments inserted between the acts of plays, with sumptuous visual effects, which provided a pretext for allegories to the glory of the reigning dynasty. The place of music and the fantastic element in theatrical performances acquired an ever grander and more spectacular character, thanks notably to the genius of set designers and the progress made in the domain of stage machinery. Seeing the artistic and political potential of the genre, the powerful princely families of the northern half of Italy (Gonzagas, Este and Medici, as well as the papal court), encouraged its development. Intermedi ended up occupying so important a place that they became a show within the show, with the aim of dazzling the audience. It was in 1589 that the Florentine tradition of intermedi attained its zenith, with the six sumptuous entertainments devised by Count Bardi to accompany the comedy La pellegrina, performed on the occasion of the wedding of Grand Duke Ferdinando I and Princess Christina of Lorraine, grand-daughter of Catarina de’ Medici. In their variety and novelty, with a balanced combination of polyphony and the nascent monody, not forgetting instrumental and dance music, the intermedi of 1589 opened the way for an integrally sung form of theatre. And indeed it was once again Florence that witnessed the first examples of the Gesamtkunstwerk, the perfect model of the alliance between poetry and music. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, a veritable laboratory was set up in Florence, prompting poets and composers to bring together several forms of musical expression in a single place? Building on the models established by earlier generations, composers continued their experiments with sound-space and the spatialisation of music, what with the proliferation of echo effects in the early monodies, or madrigals featuring dialogues between as many as seven independent choirs. But how can one tell this story nowadays, revive this rich adventure? The solution chosen for this recording was to create from scratch a large-scale imaginary work, resembling an initiatory journey, that would weld these multiple works into a single whole.

About the album

Distinctions: Diapason d'or (1/07/17)

Distinctions: 4F de Télérama (1/06/17)

Distinctions: Gramophone Editor's Choice (1/10/17)

Distinctions: Choc de Classica (1/07/17)

Distinctions: 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik (1/09/17)

Distinctions: Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (21/08/17)

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