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Rameau In Caracas

Rameau / Soloists Of Simon Bolivar Orch / Procopio
Release Date: 06/11/2013 
Label:  Paraty   Catalog #: 512120   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



RAMEAU Zoroastre: Suite. Dardanus: Overture; act I, scene 3: Entrée pour les Guerriers ; Prolog, scene 2: Premier et Deuxième Tambourin. Castor et Pollux: Suite. Acanthe et Céphise : Overture; act III: Contredanse. Les Indes galantes: Chaconne Read more class="BULLET12"> • Bruno Procopio, cond; Simón Bolívar SO of Venezuela PARATY 512120 (63:58)


The Paraty label, based in France, was founded in 2007 by Bruno Procopio, a harpsichordist and the conductor of this release. Named after a seaside town in Procopio’s native Brazil, it initially served as a vehicle for his own performances but subsequently branched out and began to record other musicians as well. This release offers a generous selection of orchestral excerpts from Rameau’s stage works, recorded with members of the Venezuelan orchestra that was previously known as the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, until its members outgrew their youth status. A product of Venezuela’s remarkable method of musical training, El Sistema , the orchestra achieved international recognition under the flamboyant leadership of Gustavo Dudamel, but as both Procopio and the orchestra’s musicians acknowledge, it had no experience in music of the French Baroque. Procopio’s achievement in training the ensemble to perform convincingly in this unfamiliar and specialized style is impressive. I am no expert on Baroque performance practice, but I do have a substantial collection of Rameau recordings, and the results here seem mostly persuasive. True, the Venezuelan players, performing on modern instruments, lack the pungency of period instrument groups such as Les Arts Florissants, Les Talens Lyriques, or Les Musiciens du Louvre, but the smoother textures Procopio elicits from this orchestra are not bloated or excessively plush, and the stirring, scintillating, and astonishingly inventive music that fills the disc is well served. The playing is generally excellent, although I did occasionally wish for crisper articulation by the strings.


The largest segment of this disc is devoted to the overture and 10 dances from Zoroastre . Only three of these dances are included in William Christie’s Erato recording of the opera, in its revised 1756 version. It is unclear to me whether Christie simply omitted the remaining numbers or whether they might be from the 1749 original version, some dances from which are said to have been dropped in the revision. The notes to the Procopio recording date the opera to 1756 but do not discuss the issue of multiple versions. In the Overture, Procopio’s rendition is more forceful, strongly accented, and dramatic than that of Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques (on their disc of Rameau overtures on L’Oiseau-Lyre), which does not seem inappropriate, since this tragédie lyrique involves a desperate struggle between good and evil. Christie and Les Arts Florissants take it faster than either, with clipped phrase endings. Procopio’s modern orchestra deploys more weight in the strings, which predictably play in a more legato style than their counterparts in the period instrument ensembles. In the Gavottes en rondeau from the first act, which Christie places in an appendix rather than in the scene for which it was composed, it is Procopio who provides the more graceful treatment. In the Loure , from act III, Christie’s quicker pace and rhythmic lift suit the music better, but in the Première et Deuxième Gavotte from act V, I have a slight preference for Procopio’s more deliberate, solemn, and weighty treatment, which seems appropriate for a sequence that forms the conclusion to the opera in its 1756 revision. Of the items omitted by Christie, the Air des Esprits Infernaux and Ballet figuré , from act IV, are especially brilliant, and brilliantly performed.


Procopio’s dignified rendering of the Overture to Dardanus is satisfying and not inferior to Rousset’s lighter and livelier treatment, but both lack the grandeur, brilliance, propulsiveness, and marked dynamic gradations secured by Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre in their complete recording of the opera (Archiv). John Eliot Gardiner, too, with the English Baroque Soloists on an Erato disc devoted to orchestral excerpts from both 1739 and 1744 versions of this opera, is more propulsive and rhythmically pointed. In the Premier et Deuxième Tambourin from the Prolog of this work, Procopio’s rendition is convincing enough on its own terms but not so energized and hard-hitting as Minkowski’s, nor does he opt for the sharp dynamic contrasts elicited by the latter. Gardiner is comparatively deliberate here, but again strongly accented and propulsive. In the Entrée pour les Guerriers , from act II, scene 3, Procopio’s reading is majestueux , as the marking demands, but Minkowski’s is once again more strongly characterized, as is Gardiner’s, albeit at a more stately pace.


Procopio, however, is in fine form in an exuberant, forceful, and energetic rendering of the Overture to Castor et Pollux . Rousset is more reticent, but noble and refined in a manner that suits the music well. Christie’s straightforward rendition, in his recording of the complete opera on Harmonia Mundi, has less character. In the Troisième Air pour les Athlètes from the first act, Procopio is once again more emphatic than Christie, with prominent drums that are missing or inaudible in Christie’s account. Procopio’s rendition is also lengthier, apparently because he tacks on a recurrence of this number that occurs in the second act, which Christie’s recording omits. In the Premier et Deuxième Passepied from the fourth act, Procopio is much quicker than Christie, and perhaps a bit hurried, but in the Chaconne from act V his rendering is the more joyful and majestic one. Two of the dance numbers on the Procopio disc are not included in Christie’s recording of the opera.


With recurrent drum strokes that are as powerful as cannon shots, the Overture to Acanthe et Céphise is the most arresting item on the program. The Chaconne from Les Indes galantes is grand indeed and brings to a close a disc filled with music of breathtaking magnificence.


The notes for this recording consist of interviews with Procopio and members of the orchestra regarding the preparations for this project, with only perfunctory discussion of the music itself. Nonetheless, this release is a useful and very enjoyable compilation of brilliant instrumental writing from Rameau’s stage works, recorded in bright, vivid, spacious sound. Bruno Procopio and his Venezuelan players offer spirited performances and show that they can compete with several of the best-known practitioners of French Baroque performance. Their efforts are especially valuable to Rameau enthusiasts for including numbers that are missing from some ostensibly complete recordings of the works in question, and this disc cannot fail to delight those who respond to Rameau’s idiom.


FANFARE: Daniel Morrison
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Works on This Recording

1.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Ouverture by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 
2.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 1. Scene 3. Première et Deuxième Gavotte en rondeau by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
3.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 2. Scene 4. Premier et Deuxième Menuet by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 35 Secs. 
4.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 2. Scene 4. Contredanse by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 0 Minutes 41 Secs. 
5.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 2. Scene 4. Entrée des Indiens by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
6.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 4. Scene 5. Ballet Figuré, Air des Esprits Infernaux by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 32 Secs. 
7.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 4. Scene 5. Air des Esprits Infernaux, Très vite by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
8.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 3. Scene 9. Loure by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
9.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 4. Scene 5. Ballet Figuré - Air by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
10.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 3. Scene 9. Premier et Deuxième Passepied by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
11.
Zoroastre, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 5. Scene 7. Première et Deuxième Gavotte by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
12.
Dardanus, Tragédie Lyrique: Ouverture by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
13.
Dardanus, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 1. Scene 3. Entrée pour les Guerriers by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
14.
Dardanus, Tragédie Lyrique: Prologue. Scene 2. Premier et Deuxième Tambourin by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 57 Secs. 
15.
Castor et Pollux, Tragédie Lyrique: Ouverture by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
16.
Castor et Pollux, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 1. Scene 3. Air pour les Athlètes by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
17.
Castor et Pollux, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 1. Scene 4. Troisième Air / Act 2. Scene 5. Deuxième Air by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; France 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
18.
Castor et Pollux, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 1. Scene 4. Premier et Deuxième Tambourin by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; France 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
19.
Castor et Pollux, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 4. Scene 2. Premier et Deuxième Passepied by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; France 
Length: 1 Minutes 42 Secs. 
20.
Castor et Pollux, Tragédie Lyrique: Act 5. Scene 7. Chaconne by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1737; France 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
21.
Acanthe et Céphise ou La Sympathie, Pastoral Héroïque: Ouverture by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1751; France 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
22.
Acanthe et Céphise ou La Sympathie, Pastoral Héroïque: Act 3. Contredanse by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1751; France 
Length: 0 Minutes 53 Secs. 
23.
Les Indes Galantes, Opéra-Ballet: Troisième Entrée: Les Sauvages: Scene 6. Chaconne by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor:  Bruno Procopio
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Ve
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 

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