The tone poems of Richard Strauss's early career represent a remarkable extension of the ideas of Liszt and Wagner, and the autobiographical Ein Heldenleben exceeds its predecessors in terms of its demands on the orchestra. Its intricately interwoven sections create a single symphonic movement depicting heroism, love, and ultimately peace.
André Campra's "Tancrède" is something of a "missing link", connecting the 17th century stage works of Jean-Baptiste Lully and his frustrated rival Marc-Antoine Charpentier with the late baroque works of Jean-Philippe Rameau. "Tancrède" was given its premiere in 1702 and was repeated again and again on the Paris stage. Even in the 1760's, when Rameau's "Les Boréades" had to be abandoned because of the death of the composer, it was Campra's "Tancrède" that the directors of the Paris Opéra chose to put back on stage because of its popularity.
Jean-Claude Petit is a French composer and arranger, born in Vaires-sur-Marne. After accompanying jazzmen in his childhood, Petit went to the Conservatoire de Paris, where he studied harmony and counterpoint. He did the string arrangements for Mink DeVille's Le Chat Bleu album, as well as orchestrating the backing parts to some French pop singles in the mid-to-late 1960s, including those of Erick Saint-Laurent and yé-yé girls Christine Pilzer and Monique Thubert…
About the Artist:
Music studies piano, composition with Andre Jolivetl. Scientific studies at the Ecole Normale Superieure, During the sixties, worked with Max Mathews in the United States to develop the resources of computer sound synthesis, imitation of instrumental timbres, sonic composition, pitch paradoxes, catalog of computer-synthesized sounds, composition of mixed works for instruments and computer. Implements computer sound synthesis systems at Orsay [1970-71], Marseilles-Luminy [1974-81] and IRCAM, Paris. as head of the computer department between 1975 and 1979. Presently researcher in Marseilles [Laboratoire de Mecanigue et d’Acoustique]. Music works for instruments. voice and computer. Scientitic and musicological articles. Received since 1963 numerous distinctions. among which the Ars Electronica Prize , the Grand Prix National de Ia Musigue of France . the first prize for digital music  the Euphonie d’Or  and the Magisterium prize at the international Bourges competition, the gold medal of CNRS .
This recording of Monteverdi's great tale of Orpheus in the underworld, the very first operatic masterpiece, was made live during the run of a production of Orfeo in the French city of Tourcoing in 2004. Orfeo is usually heard in studio recordings. A live performance using all of Monteverdi's unusual instruments of 1607 is difficult to put together; the work is large and expensive to produce, and it's hard to recoup those costs from audiences still generally unfamiliar with the music A studio performance will deliver the details of instrumentation that emerge from Monteverdi's giant orchestra in a way that a live recording cannot; the work followed directly in the tradition of the Florentine wedding spectaculars mounted by the Medici family, and Monteverdi had the resources to create all kinds of fabulous instrumental effects…
Johann Sebastian Bach's profound faith led him to construct a veritable cathedral in which the listener is overwhelmed with feeling. The Saint Matthew Passion is one of the greatest monuments of polychoral composition. The two ensembles respond to and complement one another, adding further emotional weight to the work. It must not be forgotten that throughout Bach's life, while he was writing compositions that corresponded to his professional obligations and his wish to glorify musical instruments, he had been carrying this Passion within himself, thinking about it - and with all his incredible humility - as his greatest work, written at the height of his maturity. It should also be remembered that it was Mendelssohn who resurrected this monumental work almost a century after it was written. Since then it has had an enormous impact throughout the world, including in countries such as Japan, which were not in principle receptive to its strong spiritual message.