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Enfers / Degout, Pichon, Pygmalion


Release Date: 03/30/2018 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 902288  
Composer:  Jean-Philippe RameauJean-Féry RebelChristoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Stèphane Degout
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A MusicWeb International Recording of the Month

If you thought that Wagner and Verdi were the first composers whose operas sounded really powerful, this new recording should make you think again. There’s plenty of thunder and fury here to equal even the Solti recording of Thor’s hammer marking the entry to Valhalla in Rheingold. I tend to be very mean in awarding Recording of the Month status – this is my first this year – but I couldn’t deny it.

At the heart of the programme is a recently discovered Requiem Mass in which an anonymous composer adapted music from Rameau’s Castor et Pollux and Les Fêtes de Paphos. Around this core hang extracts from Rameau’s Zoroastre, Dardanus, Hippolyte et Aricie,
Read more Les Surprises de l’Amour, and Les Boréades, and Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, Armide and Orphée et Euridice. The music is arranged according to the sections of a Requiem: Introit, Kyrie, Gradual, Sequence, Offertory, Communion and In Paradisum. With lots of turbulence on the way, the music of consolation from Les Boréades ends the programme.

This is Stéphane Degout’s first recording for Harmonia Mundi and it’s a very auspicious one. Apart from the bizarre Glyndebourne Hippolyte et Aricie, where he sang Theseus – review – his recordings have been in much later repertoire. Kirk McElhearn thought him one of the ‘top notch’ singers there. He’s all that and more besides on the new Harmonia Mundi and he has the programme almost to himself.

Emmanuelle de Negri joins him for track 12. Mathias Vidal, Thomas Dolié and Nicolas Courjal appear with Degout on track 7 and again on track 14. On both they acquit their parts well, as do Reinoud van Mechelen on track 18, Stanislas de Barbeyrac on track 9 and Sylvie Brunet-Grupposo on track 19 – she actually gets the latter to herself, with the choir, and is mercifully free from mezzo plumminess.

The support which the soloists receive from the choir and orchestra is also first-rate. On their own in Gluck’s Dance of the Furies (track 15) the latter give as exciting an account as any of the many that I’ve heard. In the Dance of the Blessed Spirits (track 21) and the closing Entrée de Polymnie (track 23) they are equally accomplished in conveying the opposite mood. Come to think of it, I’d like to hear these performers in Gluck, too, perhaps not in the much-recorded Orphée but in one of his other operas.

The recording is very good. The notes in the booklet verge on the pretentious at times but are otherwise helpful and informative. The tracks on which Stanislas de Barbeyrac and Sylvie Brunet-Grupposo appear are both labelled ‘SB’, which is confusing.

Whether you are new to the wonderful world of baroque opera or an old hand, this new recording is a must. Newcomers especially will find it an excellent starting point to explore the repertoire.

– MusicWeb International (Brian Wilson) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Zoroastre: Ah, nos fureurs ne sont point vaines by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
2.
Les élémens: Chaos by Jean-Féry Rebel
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; Paris, France 
3.
Dardanus: Voici les tristes lieux... Monstre affreux by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; France 
4.
Messe de Requiem sur des thèmes de Castor et Pollux: Requiem æternam by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
5.
Iphigénie en Tauride: Dieux! Protecteurs de ces affreux rivages by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
6.
Messe de Requiem sur des thèmes de Castor et Pollux: Kyrie eleison by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
7.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Dieux! que d'infortunés gémissent dans ces lieux! by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
8.
Les Surprises de l'Amour: Kyrie by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
9.
Armide: Nous ne trouvons partout que des gouffres ouverts by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
10.
Messe de Requiem sur des thèmes de Castor et Pollux: Domine Jesu Christe by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
11.
Orphée et Eurydice: Air de Furie by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Classical 
12.
Zoroastre: Ministres redoutés by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
13.
Zoroastre, tragédie en musique: 7. Air Des Esprits Infernaux by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
14.
Zoroastre: Quel bonheur! L'Enfer nous seconde by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
15.
Orfeo ed Euridice: Dance of the Furies by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
16.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Vous, qui de l'avenir percez la nuit profonde by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
17.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Qu'ai-je appris? Puissant maître des flots by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
18.
Messe de Requiem sur des thèmes de Castor et Pollux: Hostias et preces tibi by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
19.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Quelle plainte en ces lieux m'appelle by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1733; Paris, France 
20.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Je ne te verrai plus! by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
21.
Orfeo ed Euridice: Dance of the Heroes by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Classical 
22.
Messe de Requiem sur des thèmes de Castor et Pollux: Requiem æternam by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
23.
Les Boréades: Entrée des Polymnie by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Raphaël Pichon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pygmalion
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1764; France 

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