Lully's tragedie en musique, Atys, with a text by his favored librettist, Philippe Quinault, was one of his greatest operatic successes and was significant for setting a new standard for a distinctively French approach to opera. While Lully's operas have not entered the repertoire, they have fared well on record thanks to the efforts of some top-notch early music ensembles, and this 2010 performance of Atys featuring Hugo Reyne leading La Simphonie du Marais and Le Choeur du Marais is a superb addition to the composer's discography.
For 30 years Michel Plasson has recorded French music exclusively for EMI Classics. This exclusive box is truly unique as it covers all the masterpieces of French repertoire: concertos by Ravel, Fauré's Requiem, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, Bizet's only symphony, L'Arlesienne; Lalo's Symphony; etc . . .
It would not, perhaps, be too much of a stretch to think of Marc-Antoine Charpentier as a sort of late 17th century Poulenc. Poulenc is known for two distinct artistic faces, one a comedian of the zaniest sort, and the other capable of expressing the most profound emotional depth. Charpentier's work lay in almost complete obscurity for nearly two centuries when in the late 20 century it began being brought to light, revealing one of the most fertile and inventive musical minds of the Baroque. He has been known almost exclusively for his religious music, and particularly for his gift for expressing the darkest grief.
In this new release, Vincent Dumestre’s Le Poème Harmonique once again immerses us in the France of the second half of the 16th century, which witnessed the emergence of new centres of artistic activity. These ‘bourgeois’ societies were initiated by patron princes concerned with building their prestige through the arts and letters just as much as by arms. At the same time, refined circles held by cultivated women enabled them to rub shoulders with the leading poets of the time, as well as musicians sensitive to humanist research, all profiting from a context propitious to the invention of new artistic forms and practices.
The eighteenth century is probably the most extraordinary period of transformation Europe has known since antiquity. Political upheavals kept pace with the innumerable inventions and discoveries of the age; every sector of the arts and of intellectual and material life was turned upside down. Between the end of the reign of Louis XIV and the revolution of 1789, music in its turn underwent a radical mutation that struck at the very heart of a well-established musical language. In this domain too, we are all children of the Age of Enlightenment: our conception of music and the way we ‘consume’ it still follows in many respects the agenda set by the eighteenth century. And it is not entirely by chance that harmonia mundi has chosen to offer you in 2011 a survey of this musical revolution which, without claiming to be exhaustive, will enable you to grasp the principal outlines of musical creation between the twilight of the Baroque and the dawn of Romanticism.
It's not exactly made clear in the packaging and notes, but this appears to be the first item in what would seem to be a massive series leading up to the bicentennial of Haydn's birth in 2032. How will music be acquired in 2032? Will it be directly transferred to the brain from the neurocloud? Be that as it may, the historical-instrument group Il Giardino Armonico and its leader Giovanni Antonini make one curious to hear what's coming down the pike. The plan is to place Haydn in a "thematic dialogue with other composers."
A three-disc box, which includes the hits of the early, rock-n-roll period of creativity Adriano Celentano. In five songs, as a co-author appears himself Celentano.
Les femmes - filles, mères, épouses, travailleuses, amies, étudiantes - sont à la fois uniques et parentes entre elles. Ce lien de parenté provient des expériences semblables qu'elles vivent : l'amour et l'apprentissage; la faculté de ressentir la tendresse du coeur; l'aptitude à nouer des amitiés qui ne meurent jamais; la capacité de donner la vie; le courage d'allier travail et famille. …
“This marks the final offering from Opera Rara's laudable restoration of BBC broadcasts from the 1970s and '80s of Verdi's first thoughts on specific operas, and it is quite up to the standard of the series. It differs only in being given without an audience, and was broadcast two years after the recording. On disc we know the 1862 original Forza from Gergiev's Philips set recorded, appropriately enough, in St Petersburg. That version is by and large finely cast with Russian singers and excitingly conducted, but this one, featuring British artists and one North American, need hardly fear the comparison. John Matheson may be a slightly more measured interpreter than Gergiev but he is perhaps even more adept at disclosing the many subtleties in shaping the slightly sprawling score as a unified whole. His orchestra provides fine playing – special praise for the first clarinet before Alvaro's Act 3 solo – and the BBC Singers nicely characterise their roles.