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Lully: Thésée / O'dette, Stubbs, Crook, Van Der Kamp, Et Al

Release Date: 06/26/2007 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777240   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Harry Van der KampIlona Ziesemer-SchröderHoward CrookEllen Hargis,   ... 
Conductor:  Paul O'DetteStephen Stubbs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Early Music Festival OrchestraBoston Early Music Festival Choir
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 53 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A feisty festival performance that gives due recognition to an operatic giant.

Composed in 1675, Thesee is Lully’s third full-scale tragedie lyrique in collaboration with the librettist Quinault, and presents a typical love tangle: Athenian King Aegee wishes to marry his ward Aegle, who loves the young warrior-hero Thesee. Thesee in turn is loved by the sorceress Medee, who confirms her reputation as one of mythology’s most dangerous characters by subjecting Aegle to various torments, none of which proves successful in dislodging her enemy’s love for Thesee. Medee’s final desperate plan to cause Thesee’s death by convincing Aegee that he is an enemy who needs eliminating also comes to nought when at the last moment the
Read more King recognises Thesee as his long-lost son and relinquishes his own pursuit of Aegle.

The booklet-note makes interesting points about the opera’s allegorical content (recognition of bastard sons was much on Louis XIV’s mind, apparently), but despite some exciting battle music it is in the more intimate scenes, and the depth of individual characters they reveal, that Lully and Quinault really show their genius. Everywhere there are realistic dialogues between characters expressing complex self-contradictory feelings, the most gripping of which comes in Act 4 when Aegle has been forced by Medee to lie to Thesee that she no longer loves him in a tearful pretence which he sees through almost immediately. The gentle ardour of their reconciliation audibly affects even the watching Medee, and the sincerity of the divertissement that follows leaves us in no doubt that this is the opera’s emotional heart, the power of true love its most meaningful message.

This studio recording follows staged performances at the Boston Early Music Festival and is well presented in every aspect. Ellen Hargis makes a suitably fragile and earnest (if slightly mature-sounding) Aegle, Howard Crook as Thesee is a convincing and respectable lover, and Harry van der Kamp subtly captures the comical element in the elderly Aegee. As Medee, Laura Pudwell is impressive and versatile, and there are attractive vocal performances from Amanda Forsythe, Mireille Lebel and Suzie Leblanc. The whole is driven with taste, style and sure dramatic sense by the continuo powerhouse of theorbo-players Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs. Still often underrated, Lully is an operatic giant, and this fine recording makes eloquent proof.

-- Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone [1/2008]
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Works on This Recording

Thésée, LWV 51 by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Harry Van der Kamp (Bass), Ilona Ziesemer-Schröder (Alto), Howard Crook (Tenor),
Ellen Hargis (Soprano), Laura Pudwell (Soprano), Olivier Laquerre (Bass),
Aaron Engebreth (Baritone), Teresa Wakim (Soprano), Aaron Sheehan (Tenor),
Yulia Van Doren (Soprano), Marc Molomot (Tenor), Marek Rzepka (Bass),
Mireille Lebel (Mezzo Soprano), Suzie LeBlanc (Soprano), Amanda Forsythe (Soprano),
Moritz von Cube (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Paul O'Dette,  Stephen Stubbs
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra,  Boston Early Music Festival Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1675; Paris, France 
Venue:  Broadcast Hall, Bremen Radio, Germany 
Length: 173 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Broadcast Hall, Bremen Radio, Germany (09/08/2006 - 09/12/2006) 

Sound Samples

Thesee: Prologue: Overture
Thesee: Prologue: Les Jeux et les Amours (Chorus of Cupids, Graces, Pleasures and Games)
Thesee: Prologue: Revenez, Amours revenez (Venus)
Thesee: Prologue: La descente de Mars
Thesee: Prologue: Que rien ne trouble icy (Mars)
Thesee: Prologue: Les Hautbois
Thesee: Prologue: Partez, allez, volez redoutable Bellonne (Mars, Venus)
Thesee: Prologue: Qu'il passe au gre de ses desirs (Mars, Venus, Chorus, Ceres, Bachus)
Thesee: Prologue: Premiere Air
Thesee: Prologue: Trop heureux qui moissonne (Ceres)
Thesee: Prologue: Second Air
Thesee: Prologue: Pour les plus Fortunez, pour les plus Malheureux (Bachus)
Thesee: Prologue: Qu'il passe au gre de ses desirs (Mars, Venus, Chorus)
Thesee: Overture: Entr'Acte
Thesee: Act I Scene 1: Avancons, avancons; que rien ne nous estonnie (Chorus of Warriors)
Thesee: Act I Scene 2: Quel que soit mon destin (Aegle, Warriors)
Thesee: Act I Scene 3: Est-ce aux Atheniens, est-ce au Party contraire (Aegle, Cleone)
Thesee: Act I Scene 3: Il faut perir, Il faut perir (Warriors)
Thesee: Act I Scene 4: Le Ciel ne veut-il point mettre fin a nos peines? (Aegle, Arcas, Cleone)
Thesee: Act I Scene 5: Laissons aller la Princesse (Cleone, Arcas)
Thesee: Act I Scene 5: Avancons, avancons; que rien ne nous estonne (Warriors)
Thesee: Act I Scene 6: Prions, prions la Deesse (High Priestess of Minerva, Aegle, Cleone)
Thesee: Act I Scene 6: Mourez, mourez, perfides Coeurs (Warriors, High Priestess of Minerva, Aegle, Cleone)
Thesee: Act I Scene 6: O Minerve! Arrestez la cruelle furie (High Priestess of Minerva, Aegle, Cleone)
Thesee: Act I Scene 6: Liberte, liberte (Warriors)
Thesee: Act I Scene 6: Prelude
Thesee: Act I Scene 7: Les Mutins sont vaincus (King of Athens, High Priestess of Minerva, Attendants)
Thesee: Act I Scene 8: Cessez, charmante Aegle, de repandre des larmes (King of Athens, Aegle)
Thesee: Act I Scene 9: Prelude: Le Sacrifice
Thesee: Act I Scene 9: Cet Empire puissant que vostre soin conserve (High Priestess of Minerva, Chorus of Priestesses)
Thesee: Act I Scene 9: March
Thesee: Act I Scene 10: O Minerve scavante! (High Priestess of Minerva, Chorus)
Thesee: Act I Scene 10: Entrance of Warriors
Thesee: Act I Scene 10: Que la Guerre sanglante (Chorus, High Priestess of Minerva)
Thesee: Act I Scene 10: La Marche pour l'Entr'acte
Thesee: Act II Scene 1: Doux repos, innocente paix (Medee, Dorine)
Thesee: Act II Scene 2: Je voy le succes favorable (King of Athens, Medee, Attendants of the King)
Thesee: Act II Scene 3: Seignur, songez a vous (Arcas, King of Athens)
Thesee: Act II Scene 4: Demeure, escoute un mot, Arcas (Dorine, Arcas)
Thesee: Act II Scene 5: C'est donc la tout le prix d'une amour trop sincere (Dorine)
Thesee: Act II Scene 6: Regnez, Heros indomptable (Chorus, Dorine)
Thesee: Act II Scene 6: Premier Air pour l'Entree triomphante de
Thesee: Act II Scene 7: Que l'on doit estre (Chorus, 2 Old Athenian Men)
Thesee: Act II Scene 7: Second Air and pour le peu de bon temps (2 Old Athenian Men)
Thesee: Act II Scene 7: C'est assez, amis, c'est assez ()
Thesee: Act II Scene 8: ou courez-vous? (Medee, )
Thesee: Act II Scene 9: Depit mortel, Transport jaloux (Medee)
Thesee: Act II Scene 9: Air pour l'Entr'Acte
Thesee: Act III Scene 1: Vous allez voir bien-tost (Aegle, Cleone)
Thesee: Act III Scene 2: Le Roy m'ordonne de vous dire (Arcas, Aegle, Cleone)
Thesee: Act III Scene 3: Princesse, savez-vous ce que peut ma colere (Medee, Aegle)
Thesee: Act III Scene 3: Prelude
Thesee: Act III Scene 4: Dieux! ou sommes-nous! (Aegle, Cleone, Arcas)
Thesee: Act III Scene 5: Contre ce monstre qui m'allarme (Cleone, Arcas, Dorine)
Thesee: Act III Scene 6: Qu'on ne me trouble point (Medee, Cleone, Arcas)
Thesee: Act III Scene 6: Invocation: Ritournelle
Thesee: Act III Scene 7: Sortez, Ombres, sortez de la Nuit eternelle (Medee, Chorus of the Inhabitants of Hell, Chorus)
Thesee: Act III Scene 8: Que tous fremisse (Aegle, The Shadows)

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