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Une Fete Baroque / Emmanuelle Haim, Le Concert D'astree


Release Date: 03/13/2012 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 7307992   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean-Philippe RameauJean-Baptiste LullyHenry PurcellGeorge Frideric Handel
Performer:  Patricia PetibonSonya YonchevaStèphane DegoutNatalie Dessay,   ... 
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

With such a large roll-call of distinguished soloists so ably supported by choir, orchestra and above all Haïm herself, this is well worth having.

This 2-CD set, recorded to mark the tenth anniversary of Le Concert d’Astrée, is not, as you may think – as, indeed, I first thought – a sampler from their back catalogue. It’s a recording of a concert given by them at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris in December 2011 to celebrate the event and to raise money for the charity ‘Cancer Revolution 2010-2013’. We have, in fact, already had a sampler of the music from their regular recordings on a 2-CD album entitled Handel Arias and Duet, coupling performances from the Concert
Read more d’Astrée back catalogue with those of other artists and released in 2009 for the Handel centenary celebrations (Virgin 6960352).
 
In spite of some very minor individual reservations, only those lovers of baroque music who react negatively to the Concert d’Astrée’s manner or who dislike live recordings with some applause – and even some ‘audience participation’ – are likely to be put off. The soloists are a mixed bunch in terms of their credentials as baroque specialists; some, like Natalie Dessay, a baroque singer who’s also at home in Richard Strauss; Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Virgin Classics 6418679, and Philippe Jaroussky clearly are. Others aren’t, but there’s nothing here that’s seriously unstylish: Anne Sofie von Otter, for example, a less frequent visitor to the baroque, sings in a convincing style in Quelle plainte en ces lieux m’appelle? from Hippolyte et Aricie (CD1, track 3) for example.
 
The first CD opens with a rousing performance of colourful music from Les Indes Galantes. It’s so good that I hope that the Concert will record the whole work some time – and that’s true of all the music here that they haven’t already recorded. Christopher Purves in the Cold Scene from Purcell’s King Arthur with its uncanny foretaste of Vivaldi’s Winter (CD1, tr.18) is as convincing as on any version of this semi-opera that I’ve heard.
 
Emmanuelle Haïm explains in the notes that it would have been impossible to offer an overview of their recorded repertoire, so they wisely concentrated on ‘the composers who guided [their] first steps and to whose music [they] return from time to time.’ That means neglecting Monteverdi, for example, in favour of Rameau, who takes the major share of CD1, Lully, Purcell and, most of all Handel, whose music ends the first CD and takes up the whole of the second. As far as I can see, just one item performed at the concert, from Handel’s early Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, has been omitted from the recording.
 
Haïm’s recordings of Handel have not met with universal acclaim: Robert Hugill found much to admire and enjoy in her live recording of la Resurezzione, for example, but disliked some of the solo vocal contributions from singers not chiefly known as specialists in baroque music: Virgin 6945670, 2 CDs. Sara Mingardo sings Maria Cleophas’s aria Piangete, sì piangete from this work on track 6 of CD2 and, whilst she’s not solely a baroque specialist, with Berlioz, Verdi and Bizet roles to her credit, she’s far from unknown in this field. Her performance here is stylish enough and it certainly pleased the audience.
 
Rolando Villazon gets an even bigger round of applause on the next track for his Ciel e terra from Tamerlano. He has already sung this aria with the Gabrieli Players and Paul McCreesh on an all-Handel recital which received something of a mixed reception from Göran Forsling (DG 477 8056). His singing on the Virgin set is undoubtedly beautiful and accomplished enough to appeal to an audience of non-specialists and I think it will have the same appeal for most general listeners, though specialists may have some doubts.
 
With such a large roll-call of distinguished soloists, whom I’ve itemised in the track-listings below – they fill the stage in the double-page spread photograph on pages 18-19 of the booklet – so ably supported by choir, orchestra and above all Haïm herself, this is well worth having. If it’s your first exposure to these composers, you’ll want to follow up its purchase. You may be hard put to know where to begin and that’s where the back reviews of MusicWeb International can help. Click the ‘search’ button and type in the name of the composer and work which has grabbed your fancy. If it’s Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes, for example, there’s a wonderful DVD recording of the complete work to which Jonathan Rohr awarded Recording of the Month status (Opus Arte OA0923D).
 
Back in the day, you were either a Lully or a Rameau supporter but today we can enjoy the music of both. There’s music from only one Lully work on Une fête baroque, so I’m also going to recommend a recent recording of orchestral suites from three of Lully’s operas to which I’ve been listening from the Naxos Music Library:
 
Jean-Baptiste LULLY Phaëton, Atys et Armide Ouvertures avec tous les Airs
Ouverture avec tous les Airs à jouer de l’Opéra de Phaëton [24:54]
Ouverture avec tous les Airs à jouer de l’Opéra d’Atys [14:22]
Ouverture, Chaconne et tous les autres Airs à jouer de l’Opéra d’Armide [23:21]
Barockorchester Capriccio/Dominik Kiefer (leader) – rec. March 2011. DDD
Pdf booklet included
TUDOR 7185 [62:38]
 
These suites from three of Lully’s operas are taken from the four-part arrangements published by Estienne Roger in Amsterdam between 1697 and 1712, which is how Lully’s music came to be known outside France. They should appeal to any lovers of French baroque music, even those not especially enamoured of singing – it’s Lully without tears, as it were, for them. With excellent performances – different instrumental figurations for each of the operas – and recording and a valuable set of notes, this is strongly recommended. If only Tudor had given us a more interesting cover all would have been perfect. As it is, I enjoyed this very much.
 
Those are follow-up suggestions, but the 2-CD 10 th anniversary set under consideration is an ideal place to start, with a wealth of wonderful music, performances that are likely to disappoint very few listeners – chiefly those who already know that they don’t like the Concert d’Astrée manner – and recording to match. If the documentation is more noted for style than for substance, that’s my only real reservation about a set which I enjoyed hearing: I could easily have foregone some of the many colour photographs in the booklet for the sake of having the texts and a more detailed set of notes. Even though this set is offered effectively as 2-for-1, that’s no excuse for the omission: some less expensive offerings manage to contain texts.
 
-- Brian Wilson, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Platée: Formons les plus brillants concerts...Aux langueurs d'Apollon by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Patricia Petibon (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1745; France 
2.
Les Indes galantes: Régnez, Plaisirs et Jeux by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Sonya Yoncheva (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735/1761; France 
3.
Les Indes galantes: Forêts paisibles by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone), Natalie Dessay (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
4.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Rossignols amoureux (Nightingale aria) by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Aurélia Legay (Soprano), Jaël Azzaretti (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1733; France 
5.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Quelle plainte en ces lieux m'appelle by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1733; Paris, France 
6.
Castor et Pollux: Tristes apprêts by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Karine Deshayes (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; Paris, France 
7.
Dardanus: Monstre affreux, monstre redoutable by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
8.
Dardanus: Tambourins I and II by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739/1744; France 
9.
Dardanus: Paix favorable, paix adorable by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739/1744; France 
10.
Dardanus: Lieux funestes by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Stèphane Degout (Baritone), Topi Lehtipuu (Tenor), Françoise Masset (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739/1744; France 
11.
Hippolyte et Aricie: Hunting scene by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  Alexis Kossenko (Flute), David Plantier (Violin), Jeroen Billiet (French Horn),
Yannick Maillet (Horn)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: France 
12.
Dardanus: La descente de Vénus by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739/1744; France 
13.
Thésée, LWV 51: Overture by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1675; Paris, France 
14.
Thésée, LWV 51: March by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1675; Paris, France 
15.
Thésée, LWV 51: Vivez contents dans ces aimables lieux by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Performer:  Françoise Masset (Soprano), Jaël Azzaretti (Soprano), Stèphane Degout (Baritone)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1675; Paris, France 
16.
King Arthur, or The British Worthy, Z 628: What power art thou by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Christopher Purves (Bass)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1691; England 
17.
Come, ye sons of art, away, Z 323: Sound the trumpet by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor), Pascal Bertin (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1694; England 
18.
Tamerlano, HWV 18: Ciel e terra armi di sdegno by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Rolando Villazón (Tenor)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1724; London, England 
19.
Rinaldo, HWV 7: Armida dispietata...Lascia ch'io pianga mia cruda sorte by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano), Lorenzo Regazzo (Bass), Laura Claycomb (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711; London, England 
20.
Orlando, HWV 31: Fammi combattere by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Marijana Mijanovic (Alto)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1733; London, England 
21.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Se pietà di me non senti by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Natalie Dessay (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
22.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Piangerò la sorte mia by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sandrine Piau (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
23.
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: Madre... Son nata e lagrimar by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; London, England 
24.
Agrippina, HWV 6: Come nube che fugge dal vento by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Renata Pokupic (Alto)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1709; Italy 
25.
Messiah, HWV 56: Hallelujah! by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
26.
Sorgi il dì, HWV 72 "Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo": Fra l'ombre e gl'orrori by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Christopher Purves (Bass)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Italy 
27.
Theodora, HWV 68: How strange their ends by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; London, England 
28.
Sorgi il dì, HWV 72 "Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo": Benché tuoni e l'etra avvampi by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Delphine Haidan (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708; Italy 
29.
Rinaldo, HWV 7: Venti, turbini by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711; London, England 
30.
Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, HWV 46a: Voglio Tempo per risolvere by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Topi Lehtipuu (Tenor), Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano), Marijana Mijanovic (Alto),
Jaël Azzaretti (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707 
31.
La resurrezione, HWV 47: Piangete, si, piangete by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Sara Mingardo (Alto)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1708; Italy 
32.
Da quel giorno fatale, HWV 99 "Il delirio amoroso": Un pensiero voli in ciel by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Magali Léger (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1707-1710; Italy 
33.
Dixit Dominus, HWV 232: De torrente ini via bibet by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Karine Deshayes (Mezzo Soprano), Natalie Dessay (Soprano)
Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haïm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1707 

Sound Samples

Les Indes galantes : Les Sauvages - Danse du Calumet de la Paix et duo Forêts paisibles
Hippolyte et Aricie - Acte IV : Quelle plainte en ces lieux m'appelle?
Dardanus: Acte IV: Ritournelle (gracieusement, un peu gai)
Dardanus : Calme des sens
Dardanus : Tambourins
Hippolyte et Aricie - Acte V : Rossignols amoureux (La bergère)
Hippolyte et Aricie - Acte IV : A la chasse, à la chasse
Dardanus - Acte IV : Voici les tristes lieux... Monstre affreux,monstre redoutable
Platée - Acte II : Formons les plus brillants concerts...Aux langueurs d'Apollon (La folie)
Hippolyte et Aricie : Bruit de tonnerre
Castor et Pollux - Acte I : Tristes apprêts (Télaïre)
Dardanus : Chaconne
Les Indes galantes: Les Sauvages: Régnez, plaisirs et jeux (Zima)
Dardanus - Acte IV : Lieux funestes (Dardanus)
Dardanus - Acte III : Paix favorable, paix adorable
Thésée: Acte I: Marche
Thésée - Acte V : Vivez contents dans ces aimables lieux
King Arthur or the British Worthy - Act III : What Power art thou (Cold Genius)
Come, ye Sons of Art : Sound the Trumpet
Rinaldo - Act III : In quel bosco di strali... Al trionfo del nostro furore
Rinaldo - Act II : Lascia ch'io pianga
Agrippina - Act III : Come nube che fugge dal vento
Dixit Dominus : De torrente via bibet
Orlando - Act I : T'ubbidiro, crudele....Fammi combattere
Il Delirio Amoroso : Un pensiero voli in ciel
La Resurezzione : Piangete, si, piangete
Tamerlano - Act I : Ciel e terra armi di sdegno
Giulio Cesare - Act I : Son nata a lagrimar
Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno : Voglio tempo per risolvere
Giulio Cesare - Act III : E pur così in un giorno... Piangerò
Rinaldo - Act I : Venti turbini
Aci, Galatea e Polifemo : Benchè tuoni e l'etra avvampi
Giulio Cesare - Act II : Che sento... Se pietà
Theodora - Act III : How strange their ends
Messiah : Hallelujah

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