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Full Operas - Released August 26, 2013 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released March 25, 2013 | Ambroisie - naïve

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released October 22, 2012 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released October 16, 2012 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released October 9, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Disque de la semaine France Musique - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released September 11, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released May 14, 2012 | naïve

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released November 25, 2011 | Indésens

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Full Operas - Released October 4, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released January 25, 2011 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Diapason découverte - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
The musical world owes a debt of gratitude to French conductor Christophe Rousset not only for the vital, exquisite performances he delivers with the ensembles Les Talens Lyriques and Choeur de Chambre de Namur, but for his work in bringing to light neglected masterpieces of Baroque opera. Lully's Bellérophon, premiered in 1679, was a huge success in its time, with an initial run of nine months. Part of its popularity was doubtless due to the parallels that could be drawn between its plot and certain recent exploits of Louis XV, but even the earliest critics recognized the score's uniqueness and exceptional quality within Lully's oeuvre, so it's perhaps surprising that it has never been recorded before. The distinctiveness of the music was likely a result at least in part of the fact that Lully's preferred librettist Philippe Quinault was out of favor at the court of Louis XV at the time, so the composer turned to Thomas Corneille for the libretto, and Corneille's literary and dramatic styles were so different from Quinault's that Lully was nudged out of his comfort zone and had to develop new solutions to questions of structure and the marrying of music to text. It is the first opera for which Lully composed fully accompanied recitatives, and that alone gives it a textural richness that surpasses his earlier works. The composer also allows soloists to sing together, something that was still a rarity in Baroque opera. There are several duets and larger ensembles; the love duet, "Que tout parle à l'envie de notre amour extreme!," is a ravishing expression of passion and happiness, as rhapsodic as anything in 19th century Italian opera. The level of musical inventiveness throughout is exceptional even for Lully; the expressiveness of the recitatives, the charm of the instrumental interludes, the originality of the choruses, and the limpid loveliness of the airs make this an opera that demands attention. Rousset and his forces give an outstanding performance that's exuberantly spirited, musically polished, rhythmically springy, and charged with dramatic urgency. The soloists are consistently of the highest order. Cyril Auvity brings a large, virile, passionate tenor to the title role and Céline Scheen is warmly lyrical as his lover Philonoë. Ingrid Perruche is fiercely powerful as the villain, Stéenobée, and Jean Teitgen is a secure, authoritative Apollo. Soloists, chorus, and orchestra are fluent in the subtle inflections of French middle Baroque ornamentation. The sound of the live recording is very fine, with a clean, immediate, realistic ambience. This is a release that fans of Baroque opera will not want to miss. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Full Operas - Released January 27, 2009 | Chandos

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Full Operas - Released February 7, 2007 | Chandos

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Full Operas - Released January 1, 2007 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 5 croches d'Opéra International - Hi-Res Audio
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Full Operas - Released November 1, 2005 | Chandos

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Full Operas - Released June 1, 2005 | Chandos

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Full Operas - Released April 24, 2005 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Lennox Berkeley's Ruth, along with Britten's Gloriana and Tippett's The Midsummer Marriage, make up the first postwar peak of English opera. In scale, Ruth is a chamber opera set in three scenes for five soloists, small mixed choir, and a reduced orchestra of two flutes, horn, percussion, piano, and 11 strings. In effect, Ruth is an intimate opera depicting the story of Ruth and Boaz from the Old Testament Book of Ruth. In this recording, Ruth is exquisitely wrought, marvelously beautiful, intensely lyrical, and deeply moving. Mezzo-soprano Jean Rigby is completely convincing in the title role, a young woman who in loyalty to her mother-in-law moves to a foreign country where she is treated with suspicion and disdain as an outsider. Tenor Mark Tucker is wholly persuasive in the role of Boaz, a rich widower who comes to love the lonely Ruth. Soprano Yvonne Kenny is utterly compelling as Naomi, a woman who has lost her husband and her sons and who returns to her homeland bereft of everything except the loyalty of Ruth. Conductor Richard Hickox leads the Joyful Company of Singers and the City of London Sinfonia in a seamless blend of drama and lyricism, of action and reflection, of fear and love. Chandos' sound in this the premiere recording of the work is nearly transparent. Anyone who loves postwar English opera will want to hear this disc. © TiVo
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Full Operas - Released January 1, 2003 | Chandos

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