Albums

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Full Operas - Released December 1, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet
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 Apart from the Malgoire version from 1975 with Bruce Brewer and Felicity Palmer, which is starting to become outdated, the real treat is a second versoin by the same Malgoire twenty years later with Jean-Philippe Lafont and Colette Alliot-Lugaz...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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Full Operas - Released October 13, 2017 | Musical Concepts

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Full Operas - Released October 6, 2017 | LSO Live

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Full Operas - Released May 12, 2017 | Ediciones Singulares

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica
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Full Operas - Released April 7, 2017 | BR-Klassik

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Recorded live in April 2016 at the Prinzregententheater in Munich with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, this new rendering of Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole boasts, above all, an exemplary cast with only native French-speaking singers – four Frenchmen, Gaëlle Arquez as Concepción, Julien Behr as Gonzalve, Mathias Vidal as Torquemada, Alexandre Duhamel as Ramiro – and the Belgian Lionel Lhote singing Don Iñigo Gomez. In other words, and this is not such a frequent occurrence, the happy listener will be able to hear the work sung by a marvelously youthful cast with perfect experience and a totally impeccable French pronunciation, as well as an insiders’ understanding of the libretto’s gallic essence. This is a recording that ranks very high amongst the best recordings of Ravel’s masterpiece. © SM/Qobuz
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Full Operas - Released March 24, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Full Operas - Released March 10, 2017 | Naxos

Booklet
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Full Operas - Released February 17, 2017 | Musical Concepts

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Full Operas - Released February 10, 2017 | Ediciones Singulares

Hi-Res Booklet
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Full Operas - Released January 20, 2017 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Qobuzissime
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Full Operas - Released January 6, 2017 | Sony Classical

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Full Operas - Released November 11, 2016 | Orfeo

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Full Operas - Released November 4, 2016 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
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Full Operas - Released October 28, 2016 | Ediciones Singulares

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice