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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Jean-Philippe Rameau - Une symphonie imaginaire (Marc Minkowski)


Composer: Jean-Philippe Rameau
  1. Zaïs: Overture
  2. Castor et Pollux: Scène funèbre
  3. Les fêtes d'Hébé, act 2: Air tendre
  4. Dardanus, prologue: Premier Tambourin - Deuxième Tambourin
  5. Le temple de la gloire: Air tendre pour les Muses
  6. Les Boréades, act 1: Contredanse
  7. La Naissance d'Osiris: Air gracieux
  8. Les Boréades, act 4: Gavottes pour les Heures et les Zéphirs
  9. Platée (ou Junon jalouse): Orage
  10. Les Boréades, act 5: Prélude
  11. 6 Concerts transcrits en sextuor: 1. La poule
  12. Les fêtes d'Hébé, act 3: Musette tendre en rondeau, Tambourin en rondeau
  13. Hippolyte et Aricie, act 3: Ritournelle
  14. Naïs, prologue: Rigaudons
  15. Les indes galantes, act 9: Danse des Sauvages
  16. Les Boréades, act 4: Entrée de Polymnie
  17. Les indes galantes, act 9: Chaconne

Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski, conductor

Date: 2005
Label: Deutsche Grammophon




Jean-Philippe Rameau’s musical output consists mainly of works for keyboard and the stage. This is a pity for music lovers who do not cozy to either genre—his opera-ballets (or tragedies lyrique, or pastorales héroique, as they’re sometimes known) are amazing works—rich, rhythmically varied, and orchestrated with such flavor, color, and originality that they’re irresistible. Just as Lully’s stage works were appreciated for their elegance and once-removed stature, Rameau’s stir the feelings. The Lullyists thought his music “noisy”; what they were hearing was originality and music that tingled the senses. Realizing the pity that Rameau never composed purely symphonic music, conductor Marc Minkowski has come to the rescue: This CD contains 17 excerpts from the composer’s operas (actually 16, with one anonymous orchestration of a keyboard suite), most presented as composed, a couple with their vocal parts removed. French Baroque music is odder than German or Italian and less frequently played; part of the explanation may lie, in Rameau’s case, in the seemingly capricious manner in which he’ll toss in a chromatic line or introduce a suspension that disturbs momentarily. But his master plans are always right, and the variety keeps the listener fascinated. The performances are splendid.

-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: **** / SOUND: ****


Jean-Philippe Rameau (25 September 1683 – 12 September 1764) was one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque era. He replaced Jean-Baptiste Lully as the dominant composer of French opera and is also considered the leading French composer for the harpsichord of his time, alongside François Couperin. Rameau's music had gone out of fashion by the end of the 18th century, and it was not until the 20th that serious efforts were made to revive it. Today, he enjoys renewed appreciation with performances and recordings of his music ever more frequent.


Marc Minkowski (born 4 October 1962 in Paris) is a French conductor of classical music, especially known for his interpretations of French Baroque works. He began his musical career as a bassoonist for René Clemencic's Clemencic Consort and Philippe Pierlot's Ricercar Consort. In 1982 Minkowski formed "Les Musiciens du Louvre", an orchestra dedicated to showcasing French Baroque music. From 2008 to 2012, Minkowski was music director of Sinfonia Varsovia. His recordings have been issued by Deutsche Grammophon, Erato, EMI's Virgin Classics and Naïve Records.


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  2. One of the better recordings of Rameau suites. Thanks!

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