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France 1789: Revolte en musique d'un sans-culotte & d'un royaliste / Les Lunaisiens

Marzorati / Novelli / Les Lunaisiens
Release Date: 08/09/2011 
Label:  Alpha Productions   Catalog #: 810   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claude Rouget de LisleTraditional
Performer:  Arnaud MarzoratiJean-François Novelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Imported from : UNITED KINGDOM   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



FRANCE 1789: Revolution in Music from Sans-Culottes and Royalists Les Lunaisiens ALPHA 810 (61:23 Text and Translation)


Concept albums always run the risk of becoming shelves that get buried under a ton of irrelevant musical material—but not here. The subject is simple: vocal music composed to propagandize for either side in the French Revolution. The variety is impressive. From a musical standpoint, we get folk dances, opéra comique tunes, popular Read more romances, homophonic choruses, and, just occasionally, new material. The texts reflect appeals to sentiment, to universal humanity, or to Nature. We’re told of the fall of the Bastille, asked to applaud/condemn the capture of Louis XVI and Marie Antoniette, and hear a lament written to gain sympathy for the king interpolated, verse for verse, with a sarcastic parody. Gossec is represented by a Hymne à l’ tre supreme , while Le Menuet d’Exaudet furnishes the melody for a rollicking bit of nonsensical satire seemingly aimed at the buzzwords of the day. The Marseillaise is answered by the contrafactum of the Contre Marseillaise.


In this recording, the latter two selections are performed as one, trading their first verses back and forth, bass and tenor soloists, after which both join in as further verses alternate. Its palpable sense of theatricality, both in declamation and singing, is typical of the whole album—no ultra-refined audio equivalent of an academic paper, this. Nor would a restrained response be appropriate in passionate music meant to support such causes. There is no discussion offered of the arrangements used, though it’s difficult to escape the conviction that they are at least in certain respects modern—the way the musical textures completely change in a sophisticated fashion between verse and parody in the Complainte de Louis XVI aux Française et Parodie de la complainte , for instance. However, the instrumentation mirrors contemporary French taste as we know it: flageolet, bassoon, serpent (bass cornett), harpsichord, percussion, violin, and piano organ (two manuals for piano and organ, primarily used in popular concerts and gatherings). So whoever did the arrangements clearly had an eye and ear to period practice.


Les Lunaisiens performs with enthusiasm and technical expertise in music that’s more about style than virtuosity. There are a couple of selections where dark baritone Arnaud Marzorati wobbles on held notes (the Complainte is one), but otherwise, the singing is free from blemish. Jean-François Novelli’s sweet tenor is especially appreciated, and like Marzorati, he makes the most dramatically of the various expressive faces the words ask him to assume. With strong liner notes, English translations, good forward miking, and effective balance, this is definitely a fun release, as well as one that shines a light on aspects of popular French musical culture that seldom get heard.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Amphigouri / La Prise de la Bastille by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
2.
Est-il bien vrai que je veille... by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
3.
Délivrance des captifs by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
4.
Hymne à l'hyver by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
5.
Le gouverneur perfide by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
6.
Chanson Grivoise by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
7.
Déclaration des droits de l'homme by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
8.
Poursuite et retour de la Famille Ci-devant Royale by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
9.
Chanson nouvelle by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
10.
Complainte de Louis XVI aux Français & Parodie de la complainte by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
11.
La Trahison punie by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
12.
La guillotine by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
13.
Entends ma voix, finis mes maux by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
14.
Mort de Louis Capet by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
15.
La grande colère du Père Duchene by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
16.
Amphigouri patriotique by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
17.
Un pain d'quatr' livres by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
18.
Hymne à l'Être suprême by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
19.
La queue à Robespierre by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
20.
Vive la liberté by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens
21.
Marseillaise / Contre Marseillaise by Traditional
Performer:  Arnaud Marzorati (Voice), Jean-François Novelli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lunaisiens

Sound Samples

Amphigouri - La Prise de la Bastille
Est-il bien vrai que je veille ...
Delivrance des captifs
Hymne a l'hyver
Le gouverneur perfide
Chanson grivoise
Declaration des droits de l'homme
Poursuite et retour de la Famille Ci-devant Royale
Chanson nouvelle
Complainte de Louis XVI aux Francais - Parodie de la complainte
La trahison punie
La guillotine
Entends ma voix, finis mes maux
Mort de Louis Capet
La grande colere du Pere Duchene
Amphigouri patriotique
Un pain d'quatr' livres
Hymne a l'Etre supreme
La queue a Robespierre
Vive la liberte
Marseillaise - Contre Marseillaise

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