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La Belle Danse - Lully, Marais, Muffat / Sempe, Capriccio Stravagante

Capriccio Stravagante / Sempe
Release Date: 12/13/2011 
Label:  Paradizo   Catalog #: 10   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean-Baptiste LullyWilliam BradeMichael PraetoriusLuigi Rossi,   ... 
Performer:  Skip SempéBenjamin AlunniAlain BuetJudith Van Wanroij
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

LA BELLE DANSE Skip Sempé (hpd); dir; Capriccio Stravagante Les 24 Violons (period instruments) PARADIZO 0010 (60:47)



Music of MARAIS, LULLY, BRADE, PRAETORIUS, ROSSI, MUFFAT


"My reasons for lumping these two potpourri discs together in one review have largely to do with the similarity of the programs, but there is also the common thread of “Italy versus France,” most pronounced in the second CD. Skip Sempé is a noted American Read more harpsichordist who has numerous CDs to his credit on the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi label. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to hear his new group, an outgrowth of the chamber ensemble Capriccio Stravagante and named after the famous ensemble at the court of the Sun King—although at this point, I feel a note of clarification is in order. Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–87), the evil genius who elevated French music to be the envy of all Europe, didn’t conduct La Grande Bande (the official name for the 24 violins) during the first decades of his employment. Barred from the top job for political reasons (Lully was a foreigner), he formed his own ensemble called Les Petites Violons du Roy or La Petite Bande, a sort of junior training orchestra. Much later, when La Grande Bande was dissolved due to financial reasons, La Petite Bande became the premier ensemble, allowing Lully to consolidate his power and gain total control over the music at court. In a brilliant move, he combined his strings with wind players from La Grande Ecurie (flutes, oboes, bassoons, trumpets), creating a brand-new image de son , in effect the prototype of the modern orchestra.


Ballet was all the rage in 17th-century France; Louis XIV himself often danced in the ballets de cour , costumed as Phoebus or some other mythological or historical figure. As Sempé points out in the liner notes, French music of the period is characterized by a gestural vocabulary that derives largely from the impulse of the dance. Even in the operas, stylized dance movements are rife, and modern-day performers must understand the “finesse, suppleness, and the ‘push-pull’ of rhythm and tactus” (to quote from the liner notes again) that the best French musicians invariably possessed. Sempé’s players have these qualities in spades. Most of the names in the roster are new to me, an indication, perhaps, that they come out of the considerable pool of new talent that has sprung up in Europe in recent years. The strings are silky and refined, the winds (recorders, oboes, bassoons) spicy and well integrated. The continuo group includes two theorbos as well as harpsichord, most essential for this music. Of special note is the distribution of the strings. This is not the usual 18th-century Italian string orchestra familiar from the music of Corelli, Vivaldi, and others, but rather a unique French concoction consisting of one violin part, three viola parts (dubbed haute-contre, taile, and quinte de violon ), a basse de violon (equivalent to the cello), and no double bass whatsoever. The 16-foot sonority of the double bass is hardly missed; the lowest strings of the theorbos supply plenty of low bass thump.


The program has been expertly chosen from a wide range of music, including operas of Lully ( La Triomphe de l’Amour, Roland, Alceste, Atys, Armide, and La Pastorale comique ), Marais ( Alcyone ), and Rossi ( Orfeo ). There is also an overture from a purely instrumental work by Lully, Le Grand Divertissement de Versailles . In addition, Sempé has included music by two composers who wrote with a French “accent”: William Brade ( Paduana à 6) and Michael Praetorius (excerpts from Terpsichore ). The inclusion of these items from the early 17th century no doubt is a reflection of the CD’s subtitle, Ballets anciens et modernes . Lully’s star pupil, Georg Muffat (1653–1704), is represented by three excerpts from his Impatientia , a symphonie, sarabande, and chaconne. Finally, there are two vocal numbers: a “Scène de Satyre et Moron” from Atys , and an “Air des trois Magiciens” from La Pastorale comique . (Unfortunately no texts are provided for the sung items.) In all, a most delightful program, played and sung with brilliance and panache and expertly recorded. Warmly recommended—I hope to see many more releases from this fine group."

FANFARE: Christopher Brodersen
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Works on This Recording

1.
Le Triomphe de l'Amour: Prélude pour la Nuit by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 3 Minutes 51 Secs. 
2.
Roland, LWV 65: Overture by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1685; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
3.
Alceste: Air des Démons by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 10 Secs. 
4.
Atys: Ouverture by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
5.
Les Plaisirs de L'Ile Enchantée: Ouverture by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 2 Minutes 2 Secs. 
6.
Les Plaisirs de L'Ile Enchantée: Première Entrée by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 
7.
Les Plaisirs de L'Ile Enchantée: Marche des hautbois pour le Dieu Pan et sa suite by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
8.
Les Plaisirs de L'Ile Enchantée: Scène de Satyre et Moron by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Benjamin Alunni (), Skip Sempé (Harpsichord), Alain Buet ()
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 4 Minutes 40 Secs. 
9.
Les Plaisirs de L'Ile Enchantée: Rondeau pour les violons et les flûtes allant à la table du Roi by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
10.
Armide: Passacaille by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
11.
Pavan & Galilard, for ensemble by William Brade
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 4 Minutes 53 Secs. 
12.
Terpsichore: no 210, Volte by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 0 Minutes 55 Secs. 
13.
Terpsichore: no 65, Courante by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
14.
Terpsichore: no 64, Courante by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 25 Secs. 
15.
Terpsichore: no 136, Courante by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1612; Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 7 Secs. 
16.
Orfeo: Fantaisie "Les pleurs d'Orphée" by Luigi Rossi
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1647; Italy 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
17.
Le Grand Divertissement de Versailles: Ouverture by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
18.
Impatentia: Simphonie by Georg Muffat
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
19.
La Pastorale Comique: Scène des trois Magiciens. Première Entrée: Les Magiciens by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
20.
Impatentia: Sarabande by Georg Muffat
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 24 Secs. 
21.
La Pastorale Comique: Scène des trois Magiciens. Chaconne des Magiciens. Air des trois Magiciens by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Benjamin Alunni (), Skip Sempé (Harpsichord), Judith Van Wanroij (),
Alain Buet ()
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 3 Minutes 2 Secs. 
22.
Impatentia: Chaconne by Georg Muffat
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 1 Minutes 56 Secs. 
23.
Alcyone: Ouverture by Marin Marais
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
24.
Alcyone: Air des Faunes et Driades by Marin Marais
Performer:  Skip Sempé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Skip Sempé
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2010 
Venue:  Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn 
Length: 0 Minutes 47 Secs. 

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