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Opera Arias / Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Bernard Labadie, Les Violons Du Roy

Gluck / Lemieux / Labadie
Release Date: 09/11/2012 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 5264   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartCarl Heinrich GraunChristoph W. GluckFranz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


At a time when fine mezzos are growing on trees, French-Canadian Marie-Nicole Lemieux stands alone as a real contralto. The vocal range remains just about the same, but the color and texture of the voice is what defines the sound; Marilyn Horne was closer to contralto than mezzo and Ewa Podles is still the standard bearer for the group. Lemieux, in a not-very-showoffy manner, is a knockout. She has shown up on various Handel and Vivaldi CDs and DVDs (and also has recorded works by Schumann, Brahms, and Mahler), but this new CD is her most impressive showcase yet.

The voice is warm and rich and is used brilliantly to show off its colors. At least half of the arias recorded here are
Read more rarities: the familiar ones—“Che faro…” from Gluck’s Orfeo, “Voi, che sapete” from Mozart’s Figaro, to name two—are well done, and listeners will have their own favorites, although Lemieux’s can stand with the best. (Conductor Bernard Labadie indulges in some wonderful tempo alterations in “Che faro….”)

The others are ear-openers. The somewhat familiar “Venga pur” from Mitridate opens the program and tells us almost everything we have to know: an impeccable technique, flawless rhythm and diction, meaning given to each word and phrase, unaspirated runs, trills, startling, correct attacks at the start of phrases (this is an angry aria), a unique tone, dark yet somehow brilliant. The second aria, a lament from Haydn’s L’isola disabilitata, is sung in long phrases with wonderful legato—a study in soft singing. By the time she sings in her native language, for Clytemnestra’s vicious third-act scene and aria from Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulide, she’s overwhelming in her dramatic attack, exclamation, and dark, dark phrases—here is a great singing actress.

A 12-minute aria from Graun’s Montezuma is a perfect opera seria da capo andante with a wild, brief “B” section, and the da capo is well embellished. Mozart’s La Betulia liberata offers a showpiece, and the CD ends with an aria from Haydn’s extravagantly scored Il ritorno di Tobia, a dazzler that has wonderful dips to the nether regions of Lemieux’s voice and plenty of virtuoso coloratura. This is a great program from a great singer, and Labadie’s direction of the remarkable Les Violons du Roy is no less grand. The overture to Mozart’s Mitridate is a nice bonus half-way through the CD.

-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K 87 (74a): Overture by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: 1770; Milan, Italy 
2.
Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K 87 (74a): Venga pur, minacci e frema by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: 1770; Milan, Italy 
3.
Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Voi che sapete che cosa è amor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
4.
La clemenza di Tito, K 621: Deh, per questo istante solo by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Prague, Czech Republ 
5.
Montezuma: Del mio destin tiranno by Carl Heinrich Graun
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1755 
6.
Orfeo ed Euridice: Che farò senza Euridice? by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
7.
Iphigénie en Aulide: Dieux puissants que j'atteste...Jupiter, lance la foudre by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: Vienna, Austria 
8.
Ombra felice...Io ti lascio, K 255 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: 1776; Salzburg, Austria 
9.
La Betulia liberata, K 118 (74c): Parto inerme, e non pavento by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Salzburg, Austria 
10.
L'isola disabitata, H 28 no 9: Se non piange un infelice by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Austria 
11.
Il ritorno di Tobia, H 21 no 1: Sudò il guerriero by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Bernard Labadie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Violons du Roy
Period: Classical 
Written: 1774-1775; Eszterhazá, Hungary 

Sound Samples

Mitridate, re di Ponto, K. 87: Act I: Aria: Venga pur, Minacci e frema
L'isola disabitata, Hob.Ia:13: Part I: Aria: Se non piange un infelice
Ombra felice! ... Io ti lascio, K. 255
Iphigenie en Aulide: Act III: Jupiter, lance ta soudre!
Mitridate, re di Ponto, K. 87: Overture
Montezuma: Act II: Aria: Del mio destin tiranno tutto l'orrore
La Betulia liberata, K. 118: Part I: Parto inerme, e non pavento
Orfeo ed Euridice: Act III: Aria: Che faro senza Euridice?
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492: Act II: Arietta: Voi, che sapete che cosa e amor
La clemenza di Tito, K. 621: Act II: Rondo: Deh per questo istante solo
Il ritorno di Tobia (The Return of Tobias), Hob.XXI:1: Part I: Aria: Sudo il guerriero

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