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Full Operas - Released September 3, 2015 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
In 1745, the King of France granted Jean-Philippe Rameau the title of ‘Composer to the Court’, coupled with a healthy pension. This new period produced pieces of a much lighter character, with Rameau working alongside the librettist Louis de Cahusac, and the resulting collaborations are now counted amongst the Burgundian musician’s greatest masterpieces. Zaïs was presented on the stage of the Royal Academy of Music in 1748. This heroic ballet offers French music some of its most beautiful movements, both vocally and instrumentally. The entire work is a meditation on its famous opening chaos, and succeeds, surprisingly, through its theatrical stamp and in the audacity of the writing. The plot is, perhaps, tenuous – a lover (Zaïs) is in the throes of affection for his beloved (Zélidie), determining to cherish her – which serves as the pretext for endless entertainment, dancing, and the work’s magical character. Today, it remains surprising that a work as sumptuous as Rameau’s Zaïs is neglected in favour of the Indes Galantes or Hippolyte et Aricie. It is paradoxical, then, that in 1970 Gustav would combine the small amount of French music he truly appreciated with a reassessment of the beauties of this work. Gustav created a fascinating recording with La Petite Bande Sigiswald Kuijken (STIL), which has now become a true rarity, despite its questionable vocalists. Happily for us, Christophe Rousset, who cherishes Rameaus’s older work, has dedicated himself to it, and offers us this gorgeously captured rendition, with French singers working under the direction of his sharp and witty leadership. The opening of the Les Talens Lyriques recital is far more vivid than anything that has been achieved in over twenty years for L’Oiseau-Lyre, in which the Ouverture immediately sets the tone. Rousset completely captures the brilliance of the score, and his imagination – which here seems insatiable – liberates his singers, who are boundlessly invested in this work; complicit in a musical resurrection. An enchantment of sorts? No. A whirlwind, rather. © Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 1, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Christophe Rousset and the Talens Lyriques bring us to the stage of the Royal Academy of Music where Pygmalion, an act of ballet by Jean-Philippe Rameau inspired by an episode of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, was created in 1748. Love, showing empathy for Pygmalion’s despair of loving a statue, invigorates the sculpted woman who immediately falls in love with her creator. Very suggestive, the music of this tender and mischievous ballet deploys the grace of 18th century dances. Like Ovid’s Love, Christophe Rousset instils life in this score, one of Rameau’s greatest successes in his day, and offers us, thanks to his sense of drama and his impeccable leadership, a new and essential reading of this ballet. © Aparté
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Classical - Released January 1, 1991 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Chamber Music - Released March 6, 2012 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Christophe Rousset's collection of overtures to 17 of Rameau's operas and opéra-ballets, played by his original instrument ensemble Les Talens Lyriques, won a 1998 Gramophone award for best Baroque non-vocal CD, and it's easy to hear why this outstanding performance was recognized. The ensemble plays with unflagging liveliness and brilliant, clean tone. The rhythmic vitality Rousset coaxes from his players is toe-tappingly engaging; at the same time, he maintains a fluidity that avoids metronomic rigidity. The tempos he takes sometimes have a breathtaking fleetness that leaves the listener marveling at the players' virtuosity. The overtures are mostly brief, usually four or five minutes long, but they each contain a world of volatility and drama. Many of them are wonderfully eccentric, with startling juxtapositions and exotic orchestral combinations that keep them from ever settling into any kind of easy predictability. Rameau's use of percussion is unconventionally dramatic for the late Baroque; the overture to Acante et Céphise uses the timpani with a prominence that must have been startling to his original audiences, and to modern ears it sounds slightly odd, but charming. Rousset and the ensemble are attuned to music's eccentricities and bring out its playful character and sly humor without ever resorting to exaggeration or caricature. Decca's sound is spacious and clean, with a strong sense of presence and good balance. The CD should delight fans of the Baroque, early opera, and anyone intrigued by French music of this still somewhat obscure era. © TiVo