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Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Following its first performance before the court at the Château de Saint-Germain-en- Laye on 1 January 1677, Isis won librettist Philippe Quinault two years' banishment, for having dared to bring to the stage the jealousy of Madame de Montespan (Juno) at the decision of King Louis XIV (Jupiter) to leave her for the young and attractive Mademoiselle de Ludres (Io). Although Lully and Quinault insisted that they were inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses, no-one was fooled: after its performance, the rumour mill went into overdrive, which saw the unfortunate Mademoiselle de Ludres obliged to leave the court the following year. The show turned out to be a one-night- only affair and the opera lay forgotten for three centuries. It survived in part through Purcell's Cold Song, written for his semi-opera King Arthur, which was rather influenced by the mischievous Chœur des trembleurs in Act Four of Isis. Christophe Rousset, a Lully specialist, has set happily to work on this opera, which is jam-packed with instrumental marvels (wind machines, for example) and vocal wonders. It's these features that have won it the reputation as an "opera for musicians": so rich is the score in music and novelties. This great show was unveiled by Christophe Rousset and his team of singers and instrumentalists during summer 2019, in particular at the Beaune Festival, and recorded thereafter at the Salle Gaveau in Paris. It will continue on its round of concerts during the 2019-2020 season. Conducted with unstinting tension and lots of imagination from Christophe Rousset at the head of the Orchestre des Talens Lyriques, the Chœur de chambre de Namur, and a team of soloists all welded together into a perfectly coherent whole, this recording is a highlight of this Autumn's music. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Symphonic Music - Released November 30, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The four Nations by François Couperin (also known as "Couperin the Great") consist of France, Spain, the Empire and Piedmont (Italy, therefore), though it would be rather futile to look for any truly national characteristics in each of the movements of these four suites. And all the more so due to the fact that many of the pieces had already been composed well before the collection’s publication in 1726, and they were simply renamed... Yes, throughout the thirty-six movements of the work we do hear the French style on the one hand and the more Italianising style on the other, but the many interpolations make it, in fact, a kind of mixed European collection. At most, Spain is entitled to a few rare and truly Iberian turns of phrase, even though they are only visible under a microscope. Christophe Rousset and his musical ensemble Les Talens Lyriques approach these "trios" with joy and respect, knowing that the term "trio" does not necessarily imply three musicians; in fact, the melodic parts are entrusted to two oboes, two flutes and two violins, both together and alternately, while the continuo is played by the bassoon, harpsichord, gamba and theorbo, again either together or in various combinations depending on the musical texture. In this way, the thirty-six movements demonstrate the immense musical richness of these various nations, with all the diversity and contrasts that Couperin has assigned to them. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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

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Classical - Released March 24, 2014 | Ambroisie - naïve

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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | 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