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Ombre de Mon Amant - French Baroque Arias / Anne Sofie von Otter


Release Date: 03/02/2010 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 4778610  
Composer:  Marc-Antoine CharpentierMichel LambertJean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The musical language of the French Baroque has a bittersweet voluptuousness that can be intoxicating. To hear the plangent string harmonies of the prelude from Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Concert à quatre parties de violes or the ghostly lyricism in Michel Lambert's air "Ombre de mon amant" ("Shade of My Lover") is to experience hundreds of years falling away, the emotional-sensual aspect of the music still so vital and rich. Anne Sofie von Otter inhabits the Lambert song with all the technical sensitivity and emotional intelligence one could imagine. Few singers stretch themselves stylistically like this fifty-four-year-old Swedish mezzo; in William Christie, she has the ideal guide to the subtleties of Read more rhythm and ornament in the French Baroque, with his period-instrument Les Arts Florissants in ravishing form. Many will have special memories of a younger Lorraine Hunt Lieberson singing Médée on Christie's 1995 set of Charpentier's tragédie-lyrique, but von Otter's maturity suits the pain of a woman who has lived and loved, just as it does with Phèdre in Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie, her final beseeching scene with chorus deeply moving.

-- Bradley Bambarger, Listen

Lully in the 17 th century and Rameau in the 18 th century have generally been regarded as the foremost French baroque composers. During the last few decades the growing interest in baroque music has tempted musicians to explore some of the byways and come up with fascinating finds. The most important of those may be Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Most European TV viewers have been familiar with at least one of his works, all the way since 1954 when the EBU picked the opening fanfare from his Te Deum as their signature tune. It was not, however, until the some thirty years ago that his works became more common fare. Today his reputation is almost on a par with that of Lully.
 
Michel Lambert may be a new name to many readers. In his day he was known as a singing master, but also as a composer of ‘tunes’ as Wikipedia puts it. Incidentally his daughter Madeleine married Lully in 1662 so there were links between the two musicians. As opposed to Lully, Charpentier and Rameau he wrote no operas but listening to his airs with modern ears his style of writing isn’t too far removed from Charpentier or Lully. The tunes are easy on the ear and not too memorable but, honestly, how many walk around humming songs by the other French baroque masters? That he was a technically skilled singer is obvious from the richly decorated vocal line and no one can deny that he catches the melancholy atmosphere of the title song Ombre de mon amant to perfection.
 
Charpentier’s music is often dramatically effective. The prelude that opens Noires filles du Styx (tr. 10) and the chorus of Jealousy, Vengeance and Demons (tr. 11) is truly hefty. Hippolyte et Aricie has claims to be Rameau’s best opera, even though some prefer Castor et Pollux. Though the music is sometimes chopped up and performed in random order – or so it seems to me – the power and beauty of it makes it a total pleasure, especially when performed with such professionalism and dedication.
 
Anne Sofie von Otter’s voice is still in excellent shape, her technical accomplishment as usual stunning and her sense of style infallible. She started her solo career as a baroque singer and this disc, together with her previous Bach recital, mark her return to her roots. Working with William Christie and his Les Arts Florissants she can’t have a better guide in this repertoire, Christie one of the pioneers in bringing Charpentier’s music before the public. The playing of the orchestra – at very low pitch a¹=400Hz – is characteristically homogenous and with springy rhythms. The choir sounds uncommonly large by the way, considering how few they really are: 4-3-3-4. In the Médée excerpts there are some stylish solo contributions from members of the chorus. That Ms Von Otter has approached this project with a serious mind is obvious from the credits in the booklet, where she ‘wishes to thank Emmanuelle Haim, Marc Minkowski and Leonardo Garcia Alarcón for their guidance in her exploration of the French Baroque repertoire’. With a recording that leaves nothing else to be desired this in every way a high quality product that no lover of Baroque vocal music should miss.
 
-- Göran Forsling, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Médée, H 491: Overture by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
2.
Médée, H 491: Princesse c'est sur vous by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
3.
Ma bergère est tendre et fidelle by Michel Lambert
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; France 
4.
Ombre de mon amant by Michel Lambert
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; France 
5.
Concert for 4 Viole da gamba, H 545: Prelude by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680-1681 
6.
Médée, H 491: Quel prix de mon amour, quel fruit de mes forfaits by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
7.
Médée, H 491: Croiras-tu mon malheur...Dieux témoins de la foy que l'ingrat m'a donnée by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
8.
Médée, H 491: C'en est fait, on m'y force by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
9.
Médée, H 491: Avant que d'éclater...Malgré ta noire trahison by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
10.
Médée, H 491: Noires filles du Styx by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
11.
Médée, H 491: Venez mêler à mes poisons by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
12.
Médée, H 491: Je vois le don fatal by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
13.
Médée, H 491: Dieu du Cocyte et des Royaumes sombres by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
14.
Médée, H 491: Entrée des Démons by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1693; France 
15.
Auprès du feu l'on fait l'amour, H 446 by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
16.
Celle qui fait tout mon tourment, H 450 by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1695; France 
17.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Cruelle mère des amours by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1733; Paris, France 
18.
Concert for 4 Viole da gamba, H 545: Gigue angloise by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680-1681 
19.
Les fêtes d'Hébé: Air gracieux pour Zephire et las Graces by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; Paris, France 
20.
Les fêtes d'Hébé: Ariette de l'Amour Vole, Zéphyre! by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
21.
Les fêtes d'Hébé: Tambourin by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; Paris, France 
22.
Les fêtes d'Hébé: Air tendre by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; Paris, France 
23.
Les fêtes d'Hébé: Air pour le Genie de Mars by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; Paris, France 
24.
Concert for 4 Viole da gamba, H 545: Gigue francoise by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1680-1681 
25.
Les fêtes d'Hébé: La Victorie by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; Paris, France 
26.
Les fêtes d'Hébé: Chaconne by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; Paris, France 
27.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Quelle plainte en ces lieux m'appelle by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1733; Paris, France 
28.
Vos mespris chaque jour by Michel Lambert
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque 

Sound Samples

Medée: Ouverture
Medée / Acte II / Scène 2: Princesse c'est sur vous
Ma bergère est tendre et fidelle
Ombre de mon amant
Concert [Suite] pour quatre parties de violes, H. 545: 1. Prelude
Medée / Acte III / Scène 3: Quel prix de mon amour
Medée / Acte III / Scène 4: Croiras-tu mon malheur - Dieux témoins de la foy que l'ingrat m'a donnée
Medée / Acte III / Scène 4: Prélude - C'en est fait, on m'y force
Medée / Acte III / Scène 4: Avant que d'éclater - Malgré ta noire trahison
Medée / Acte III / Scène 5: Prélude - Noires filles du Styx
Medée / Acte III / Scène 6: Venez mêler à mes poison
Medée / Acte III / Scène 7: Prélude - Je voy le Don fatal
Medée / Acte III / Scène 7: Premier Air pour les Démons
Medée / Acte III / Scène 7: Dieu du Cocyte et des Royaumes sombres
Medée / Acte III / Scène 7: Entrée des Démons
Prélude instrumental et chansonette Auprès du feu l'on fait l'amour (H.446)
Concert [Suite] pour quatre parties de violes, H. 545: 4. Gigue angloise
Chanson à danser Celle qui fait mon tourment (H.450)
Concert [Suite] pour quatre parties de violes, H. 545: 5. Gigue francoise
Hippolyte et Aricie / Act 3: Prélude.."Cruelle mère des amours"
Les fêtes d'Hébé / Act 1 / Scène 5: Gigue Air gracieux pour Zéphyre et les Grâces, Prologue
Les fêtes d'Hébé / Act 1 / Scène 4: Ariette de l'Amour Vole, Zéphyre!
Les fêtes d'Hébé / Act 1 / Scène 8: Tambourins I et II, Première Entrée La Poésie
Les fêtes d'Hébé / Act 2 / Scène 5: Air tendre
Les fêtes d'Hébé / Act 2 / Scène 5: Pour le Génie de Mars
Les fêtes d'Hébé / Act 2 / Scène 5: La Victoire
Les fêtes d'Hébé / Act 2 / Scène 5: Chaconne
Hippolyte et Aricie / Act 4: "Quelle plainte en ces lieux m'appelle?"
Vos mépris chaque jour

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