Rameau - The Opera Collection

Release Date: 9/2/2014
Label: Erato
Catalog Number: 636487
Number of Discs: 27

Physical Format:

CD
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Any tourist who has visited the palace at Versailles to marvel at the fountain show will have been captivated by the music of Rameau – perhaps without even knowing it – as the jets of water dance to the French composer’s majestic yet irresistibly joyous ballet music and arias.

The Dijon-born organist and theorist is a classic late-bloomer, penning his first opera, Hippolyte et Aricie, at the age of 50 in 1733. Yet he had a gift for the theatrical, and went on to write some of the most vibrant, astonishing music of the 18th century.

From its very first release in 1953, Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Te Deum, the French label Erato was at the forefront of the French Baroque revival. William Christie’s recordings of Rameau operas and motets with his ensemble Les Arts Florissants remain the benchmark for their style, energy and finesse – and as his recent performances at the BBC Proms and Glyndebourne attest, his interpretations are as fresh as ever.

Erato’s 27-CD boxed set The Rameau Opera Collection, released to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Rameau's death on September 12, features Christie’s timeless recordings alongside all the greatest champions of Rameau: John Eliot Gardiner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Marc Minkowski and Nicholas McGegan among them. This collection of nine operas and four stage works contains some of the jewels of the Erato catalogue released between 1974 and 2002, which made such an important contribution to re-establishing Rameau’s reputation as a master of musical theatre. From the heartwrenching fraternal bond of Castor et Pollux to the hilarious primping and clownery of the ugly-and-oblivious water nymph Plâtée, these are works of great beauty and subtlety, and, when stylishly performed as they are here, they possess considerable dramatic power.
Works on This Recording
1. Hippolyte et Aricie by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: Laurent Naouri (Bass), Mark Padmore (Tenor), Anna Maria Panzarella (Soprano), Eirian James (Mezzo Soprano), Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble: Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque
Written: 1733 ; Paris, France
2. Les Indes galantes by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: Jennifer Smith (Soprano), Gerda Hartmann (Soprano), John Elwes (Tenor), Louis Devos (Tenor), Philippe Huttenlocher (Bass)
Period: Baroque
Written: 1735/1761 ; France
3. Castor et Pollux by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: Jeanette Scovotti (Soprano), Jacques Villisech (Bass), Gérard Souzay (Baritone), Zeger Vandersteene (Tenor), Norma Lerer (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Baroque
Written: 1737 ; Paris, France
4. Les fêtes d'Hébé by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: Laurent Slaars (Baritone), Sophie Daneman (Soprano), Luc Coadou (Baritone), Paul Agnew (Tenor), Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (Tenor), Gaëlle Mechaly (Soprano), Thierry Félix (Baritone), Sarah Connolly (Mezzo Soprano), Maryseult Wieczorek (Mezzo Soprano), Matthieu Lécroart (Baritone)
Conductor: William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble: Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque
Written: 1739 ; Paris, France
5. Dardanus by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: Hélène Garetti (Soprano), Georges Gautier (Tenor), Christiane Eda-Pierre (Soprano), Monique Marandon (Soprano), Annick Dutertre (Soprano), José van Dam (Bass), Jean-Phillipe Courtis (Bass), Roger Soyer (Bass Baritone), Michael Devlin (Bass Baritone), Véronique Dietschy (Soprano), Frederica Von Stade (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: Raymond Leppard
Period: Baroque
Written: 1739/1744 ; France
Performer: Guy de Mey (Tenor), Véronique Gens (Soprano), Gilles Ragon (Tenor), Jennifer [Soprano] Smith (Soprano), Guillemette Laurens (Soprano), Vincent le Texier (Bass Baritone)
Conductor: Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble: Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Baroque
Written: 1745 ; France
7. Les Surprises de l'Amour by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Conductor: Marc Minkowski
Orchestra/Ensemble: Les Musiciens du Louvre
Period: Baroque
Performer: Antony Ransome (Baritone), Ian Caddy (Baritone), Richard Jackson (Baritone), Ann Mackay (Soprano), Jennifer [Soprano] Smith (Soprano), Lynda Russell (Soprano), John Tomlinson (Bass), Ian Caley (Tenor), Brian Parsons (Countertenor)
Conductor: Nicholas McGegan
Period: Baroque
Written: by 1749 ; France
9. Zoroastre by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: Gaëlle Mechaly (Soprano), Anna Maria Panzarella (Soprano), Nathan Berg (Baritone), Matthieu Lécroart (Baritone), François Bazola (Bass), Mark Padmore (Tenor), Eric Martin-Bonnet (Bass), Stéphanie Révidat (Soprano)
Conductor: William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble: Les Arts Florissants
Period: Baroque
Written: 1732 ; France
10. Zéphyre by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: Rebecca Ockenden (Soprano), Sophie Decaudaveine (Soprano), Gaëlle Mechaly (Soprano)
Conductor: William Christie
Period: Classical
Written: by 1755 ; France
11. La guirlande by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: François Bazola (Bass), Sophie Daneman (Soprano), Paul Agnew (Countertenor)
Conductor: William Christie
Period: Classical
Written: by 1751 ; France
12. Les Boréades by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: Jean-Philippe Lafont (Baritone), François Le Roux (Baritone), Gilles Cachemaille (Baritone), Philip Langridge (Tenor), John Aler (Tenor), Jennifer [Soprano] Smith (Soprano), Anne Marie Rodde (Soprano), Elisabeth Priday (Soprano), Martine March (Soprano), Stephen Varcoe (Baritone), Edwige Bourdy (Soprano)
Period: Baroque
13. Pygmalion by Jean-Philippe Rameau
Performer: Marilyn Hill Smith (Soprano), Michael Goldthorpe (Tenor), Anne Marie Rodde (Soprano)
Conductor: Nicholas McGegan
Period: Baroque
Written: 1748 ; Paris, France
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