Available languages: EnglishHervé Niquet is a rare musician: while some composer/performers are also conductors, few have also managed a successful career as a singer, as has Niquet. Moreover, he has not only conducted instrumental ensembles but choral groups as well. As a composer he has received prestigious commissions, including one from Princess Caroline of Monaco. Niquet the conductor is generally associated with French Baroque music -- the works of Boismortier, Charpentier, Clérambault, Lully, Marais, and Rameau. But it would be unfair to typecast him as a specialist in that vein: he has not only performed and recorded much Handel and Purcell, but has developed a repertory reaching into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, taking in works by Chabrier, Gounod, Rossini, Ravel, Poulenc, and many others. In concert and on recordings Niquet often performs both as conductor and harpsichordist or organist. In the mid-'80s he sang as a tenor with the famed Baroque group Les Arts Florissant. He has appeared on countless recordings in various roles and has served as the headlining performer on more than 50 CDs and DVDs since the 1980s. His recordings are available on a variety of labels, including EMI, Virgin Classics, Naxos, EuroArts, Naïve, Accord, and Atma Classique. Hervé Niquet was born in France in 1957. Following extensive studies of harpsichord, organ, composition, conducting, and singing, Niquet was appointed choir master of the Paris Opéra (1980). 1985 was a pivotal year for the young musician: he received a commission from Princess Caroline to write a ballet (24 Hours in the Life of a Woman), and he joined Les Arts Florissant as a tenor. Meanwhile, he continued branching out as a conductor, leading major ensembles across Europe in mostly Baroque fare. In 1987 Niquet founded the orchestra he has been most closely associated with, Le Concert Spirituel. He derived the name from the ensemble of the same name founded in Paris in 1725 that disbanded in 1790. Consisting of about 50 players, the group has come to be regarded as one of the foremost Baroque orchestras in Europe. Niquet became identified with the ensemble for the next couple of decades, making many recordings with them from the 1990s onward, more than 20 for the Naxos label alone. Niquet founded another ensemble in 2002, the Montreal-based La Nouvele Sinfonie. This orchestra is made up of about 40 musicians and, like Le Concert Spirituel, mainly focuses on French Baroque repertory.
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Intégrales d'opéra - Verschenen op 11 mei 2018 | Ediciones Singulares
Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 3F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
We'll admit: this Reine de Chypre by Fromental Halévy is probably not the unfairly-overlooked work of commanding genius for which the lyrical world has been waiting for fifty years… But it would still be a shame to miss it, especially when performed by such a line-up, with Véronique Gens, Cyrille Dubois and Etienne Dupuis at the top of the bill. And after all, the score is full of vocal marvels and very original ensembles; but it is rather in the orchestration – which is not much more adventurous than that of any other piece of Italian bel canto of the era – that Halévy has taken it easy. The melodic richness was pointed out in an article in the Revue et gazette musicale in April 1842: "In the Reine de Chypre, Halévy's new style is on display with more dash, and more success. I have had occasion to point out the preconditions, as I see them, of the production of a good opera, by pointing out the obstacles which stand in the way of meeting these conditions fully and in good time, whether by the poet or the composer. When these conditions are met, it is an event of great importance for the world of art. Now, in the present case, circumstances have conspired in the performance of a work which, as even the most exacting critic must admit, possesses all the qualities which constitute a good opera. (…) The composer has put all the enchantment of his art into the duet that breathes the sentiments that enrapture them. The dark cloth on which these two charming figures are drawn shows through even in those songs which are so sparkling and alive with happiness, like a sinister cloud, and lends them a particular character of melancholy intrigue. There is no equal, in nobility or in grace, of the magnificent melody of the final part of this duet." The article continues in this vein. The byline? One Richard Wagner… © SM/Qobuz
Cantates sacrées - Verschenen op 12 januari 2018 | Ediciones Singulares
Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
An icon of French Romanticism thanks to the enduring popularity of his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette, Charles Gounod competed three times for the prestigious Prix de Rome between 1837 and 1839. Thus he composed three unpublished cantatas for soloists and orchestra, including Marie Stuart et Rizzio and La Vendetta, which he never had the opportunity to hear in performance. Revealed for the first time, these three cantatas, fine examples of French Romanticism, show a young composer with a remarkable flair for opera. In the end Fernand won him the coveted prize, carrying with it the privilege of a three-year stay (from 1840) at the Villa Medici in Rome. While there he produced several sacred compositions, which have also remained unknown until now. His splendid Messe vocale for unaccompanied choir, written in a neo-Palestrinian style, deserves a place on the programme of every vocal ensemble. © Palazzetto Bru Zane
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