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Rameau: Dardanus / Minkowski, Ainsley, Gens, Naouri, Et Al

Release Date: 05/09/2000 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 463476   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  John Mark AinsleyVéronique GensMireille DelunschRussel Smythe,   ... 
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du LouvreChoeur des Musiciens du Louvre
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 36 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Rameau composed Dardanus in 1739 at the height of the war between the Lullistes and the Ramistes. The opera was almost universally trashed but still managed to run up 26 performances, due mostly to a thousand avid Ramistes who attended all of them. The opera was revived in 1744 and it was turned into something far more down-to-earth, textually speaking--in other words, much of the supernatural hoo-ha was eliminated. It also was severely cut, since the musicians at the premiere had complained about the sheer quantity of the music, and a couple of small scenes were added. The performance presented here is essentially the 1739 version, with two 1744 scenes added: a quite marvelous prison scene for
Read more Dardanus at the start of the fourth act, and a brief orchestral interlude earlier on. The plot--convoluted with sea monsters and changing identities--remains a mess, but the music is glorious, and as the musicians were quick to point out, there's plenty of it.

Highlights--at least a few that overwhelm--are the ferocious call to arms "Mars Bellone..." in Act 1; the scene in which Dardanus declares his love for Iphise at the close of Act 2; Iphise's grief-stricken aria at the start of Act 3; Anténor's facing down the sea monster in Act 4; and the ravishing duet for the lovers in the final act. In the person of John Mark Ainsley we have the ideal Dardanus. The high-lying music doesn't phase him and he still sounds virile; he's positively towering in his tragic prison scene. Véronique Gens' Iphise is no less superb--she goes through the opera with some very mixed feelings, and her torment is palpable. As Anténor, Laurent Naouri is manly and noble; Jean-Philippe Courtis' Magician is spooky and potent; Venus, in the person of Mireille Delunsch is truly divine; and Russell Smythe is all dignity as King Teucer, Iphise's father.

There is no praise high enough for Marc Minkowski and his Louvre musiciens--their spirit, understanding, and accuracy in the face of this challenge is extraordinary. This set easily replaces Raymond Leppard's 1980 recording of the work, which, although it featured the lovely Iphise of Frederica von Stade, eliminated the prologue entirely and otherwise used the 1744 version with a hodgepodge of instruments. This new recording also benefits from sonics that are as outstanding as the performance. This is an invaluable addition to the Rameau discography.

--Robert Levine
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Works on This Recording

Dardanus by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer:  John Mark Ainsley (Tenor), Véronique Gens (Soprano), Mireille Delunsch (Soprano),
Russel Smythe (Baritone), Laurent Naouri (Baritone), Jean-Phillipe Courtis (Baritone),
Françoise Masset (Soprano), Jean-François Lombard (Countertenor), Jean-Louis Bindi (Bass),
Magdalena Kozená (Alto), Marcos Pujol (Bass)
Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1739/1744; France 
Length: 155 Minutes 43 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Dardanus: Overture
Dardanus / Prologue: "Régnez, Plaisirs, régnez"
Dardanus / Prologue: Air pour les Plaisirs (Gai et gracieux)
Dardanus / Prologue: "Je veux que sous mes lois" / "Plaisirs, enchaînez-les"
Dardanus / Prologue: Air pour les Plaisirs (Très vif)
Dardanus / Prologue: "Quel calme!"
Dardanus / Prologue: "Brisez vos fers"
Dardanus / Prologue: "Nos mains forgent les traits"
Dardanus / Prologue: "C'en est trop"
Dardanus / Prologue: "Troubles cruels"
Dardanus / Act 4: Ritournelle (Gracieusement et un peu gai)
Dardanus / Prologue: "Quand l'aquilon fougueux"
Dardanus / Act 4: "Malgré le dieu des mers"
Dardanus / Act 4: "Venez, Songes flatteurs"
Dardanus / Prologue: Marche pour les différentes nations (Gai) / "Par tes bienfaits, signale ta puissance"
Dardanus / Prologue: Air gracieux (Sans lenteur) / "L'Amour, le seul Amour"
Dardanus / Act 4: Sommeil (Rondeau tendre)
Dardanus / Prologue: Menuet tendre en rondeau
Dardanus / Act 4: "Par un sommeil agréable"
Dardanus / Prologue: Premier Tambourin / Deuxième Tambourin
Dardanus / Act 4: Air (Très vif)
Dardanus / Act 4: "Un monstre furieux désole ce rivage"
Dardanus / Prologue: "Pour célébrer ce jour heureux"
Dardanus / Prologue: Reprise de l'Ouverture
Dardanus / Act 4: "Ah! que votre sort est charmant"
Dardanus / Act 4: Calme des sens (Air tendre)
Dardanus / Act 1: "Cesse, cruel Amour"
Dardanus / Act 1: "Ma fille, enfin le ciel seconde mon courroux"
Dardanus / Act 4: Gavotte vive
Dardanus / Act 1: "Princesse, après l'espoir"
Dardanus / Act 1: "Par des noeuds solennels" / "Mânes plaintifs, tristes victimes"
Dardanus / Act 1: "Par des jeux éclatants"
Dardanus / Act 1: Entrée pour les Guerriers (Majestueux)
Dardanus / Act 1: Air (Vif) / "Allez, jeune guerrier"
Dardanus / Act 1: Premier Rigaudon
Dardanus / Act 1: Deuxième Rigaudon / "Guerriers, suivez l'Amour"
Dardanus / Act 1: "Mars, Bellone, guidez nos/leurs coups" / "Guerriers, je remplirai bientôt votre espérance" / "Mars, Bellone, guidez nos/leurs coups"
Dardanus / Act 1: "Je cède au trouble affreux"
Dardanus / Act 2: "Tout l'avenir est présent à mes yeux"
Dardanus / Act 2: "On vient ... c'est Dardanus"
Dardanus / Act 2: "Entendez ma voix souveraine" / "Hâtons-nous; commencons nos terribles mystères"
Dardanus / Act 2: Air (Grave)
Dardanus / Act 2: "Suspends ta brillante carrière"
Dardanus / Act 2: Air (Vif)
Dardanus / Act 2: "Nos cris ont pénétré jusqu'au sombre séjour"
Dardanus / Act 2: "C'en est fait"
Dardanus / Act 2: "Obéis aux lois des enfers"
Dardanus / Act 2: "Je la vois"
Dardanus / Act 2: "Par l'effort de votre art terrible"
Dardanus / Act 2: "D'un penchant si fatal"
Dardanus / Act 2: "Dieux! qu'exigez-vous de mon zèle?"
Dardanus / Act 2: "Elle fuit! ... Mais j'ai vu sa tendresse"
Dardanus / Act 2: Entracte: Bruit de guerre
Dardanus / Act 3: Prélude (Sans lenteur) / "Ô jour affreux!"
Dardanus / Act 3: "Princesse, enfin la paix va combler mon attente"
Dardanus / Act 3: "Que l'on chante, que l'on s'empresse" / "Entendez ces chants d'allégresse" / "Que l'on chante, que l'on s'empresse"
Dardanus / Act 3: Air en rondeau (Gai) / "Paix favorable, paix adorable"
Dardanus / Act 3: Premier Menuet / Deuxième Menuet en rondeau / "Volez, Plaisirs, volez"
Dardanus / Act 3: Premier Tambourin / Deuxième Tambourin
Dardanus / Act 3: "Cessez vos jeux"
Dardanus / Act 3: "Allez, et remportez une illustre victoire"
Dardanus / Act 4: "Lieux funestes"
Dardanus / Act 4: Air de triomphe (Vivement) / "Il est temps de courir aux armes"
Dardanus / Act 4: "Où suis-je!"
Dardanus / Act 4: "Hâtons-nous; courons à la gloire"
Dardanus / Act 4: "Voici les tristes lieux"
Dardanus / Act 4: "Monstre affreux, monstre redoutable"
Dardanus / Act 4: "Quel bruit! quelle tempête horrible!" / "Mon rival va périr" / "Le monstre est abattu"
Dardanus / Act 4: "Quel est donc le héros qui conserve mes jours?"
Dardanus / Act 5: Ritournelle et Choeur des Phrygiens: "Anténor est victorieux"
Dardanus / Act 5: "N'en doute point; c'est Dardanus lui-même"
Dardanus / Act 5: "Mais un nouvel éclat embellit l'univers"
Dardanus / Act 5: "Teucer, bannissez pour jamais la vengeance et la haine"
Dardanus / Act 5: Duo: "Des biens que Vénus nous dispense"
Dardanus / Act 5: Air pour les Plaisirs (Gai) / Choeur des Amours: "Nous quittins des Plaisirs la demeure chérie"
Dardanus / Act 5: Gavotte (Gracieusement) / Air: "C'est la constance"
Dardanus / Act 5: Ariette: "Pour la fête où l'on vous appelle"
Dardanus / Act 5: Gigue (Vivement)
Dardanus / Act 5: Chaconne

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