This programme marks the eagerly awaited return of Véronique Gens to Baroque music and Lully, in which she made a name for herself at the start of her career. It presents airs from Atys, Persée, Alceste, Proserpine, Le Triomphe de l’Amour and other works by Louis XIV’s famous composer, but also several by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (Médée), Henry Desmarets and Pascal Collasse. Whether well known, rare or in some cases even unpublished, all of them present roles for powerful women whose love is unrequited: dark passions, bitter laments, jealousy, vengeance, the type of dramatic characters that Véronique Gens embodies with all the charisma that has made her reputation. This recording is also the result of an encounter with the youthful ensemble Les Surprises, founded and directed by Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas. Together they conceived this programme, which mingles airs, dances and choruses, in collaboration with the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles.
The voice remains in remarkable condition, as strongly radiant, firm and secure as ever with powerful chest notes. And of course the characteristics that have made her so prized in this repertoire, the perfect shaping of line and outstanding diction, remain, still more finely honed.