Rameau: Les Fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour, ou Les Dieux d'Égypte

Glossa: GCD921629

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Rameau: Les Fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour, ou Les Dieux d'Égypte




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Release date:

29th Sept 2014




1 hour 53 minutes


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Rameau: Les Fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour, ou Les Dieux d'Égypte

World Premiere Recording

Carolyn Sampson, Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Blandine Staskiewicz (sopranos), Jennifer Borghi (alto), Reinoud Van Mechelen, Mathias Vidal (countertenors), Tassis Christoyannis, Alain Buet (basses)

Le Concert Spirituel, Hervé Niquet

CD - 2 discs


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The latest in Hervé Niquet's 'reinvigorations' of French operatic music from the Baroque and beyond for Glossa is Rameau’s 1747 'Les Fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour'. A ballet heroïque in a prologue and three entrées, the whole work was designed to comprise a complete theatrical spectacle. Music for dancing – as befits a ballet – is given a prominent role and Rameau is able to create especially expressive symphonies and to give the choruses – even a double-chorus – an integral role in the action. Added to this are supernatural effects, and plots for the entrées which explored the then uncommon world of Egyptian mythology (including a musical depiction of the flooding of the River Nile). In his vocal music Rameau deftly switches between Italianate style and the French mode, current in the mid-18th century, allowing the distinguished team of vocal soloists to demonstrate their accomplished talents. Overseen by the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, and with booklet notes from Thomas Soury, this new recording is an important addition to the Rameau catalogue – the more so in the 250th anniversary year of the composer’s death. It brings to life one of Rameau’s finer, if underrated, compositions, and a dramatic work written on the cusp of important reforms in opera.

Jean-Philippe Rameau: Les fetes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour, ou Les dieux d'Egypte

Prologue: Ouverture

Prologue: Air et choeur: Dieu charmant, essuyez vos pleurs (Un Plaisir, Choeur)

Prologue: Ballet figure I

Prologue: Scene: Mon trop juste depit ne peut plus se calmer (L'Amour, Un Plaisir)

Prologue: Gavotte tendre en rondeau I-II: Dans les ennuis, dans les alarmes (Un Plaisir)

Prologue: Scene: Je perdrais toute ma puissance (L'Amour, Un Plaisir, Choeur)

Prologue: Symphonie brillante: Quels sons brillants font retentir ces lieux (Choeur, L'Amour)

Prologue: Air: Fuyez, fuyez sombre tristesse (L'Hymen)

Prologue: Scene: Qu'entends-je! O dieux! (L'Amour, L'Hymen)

Prologue: Air: Volez, Plaisirs, celebrez ce beau jour (L'Amour)

Prologue: Air un peu vif

Prologue: Passepied I-II

Prologue: Duo: Qu'on ne trouve dans l'univers (L'Amour, L'Hymen)

Prologue: Choeur: Regnez, offrez-vous aux mortels (Choeur)

Prologue: On reprend l'ouverture pour entracte

Act I: Osiris: Ritournelle

Act I: Osiris: Scene: Il faut vaincre ou subir un honteux esclavage (Mirrine, Orthesie)

Act I: Osiris: Air: Que ces mortels sont redoutables! (Orthesie)

Act I: Osiris: Scene: Ce sexe ambitieux n'aspire (Mirrine)

Act I: Osiris: Choeur: Aux armes! Courons aux armes! (Amazones Sauvages)

Act I: Osiris: Scene: N'ecouterez-vous que la haine (Osiris, Orthesie, Mirrine, Amazones Sauvages)

Act I: Osiris: Scene: Que vous connaissez mal le pouvoir de vos charmes (Osiris)

Act I: Osiris: Scene et air: Aux douceurs d'un frivole hommage (Orthesie)

Act I: Osiris: Scene: Je guide un peuple genereux (Osiris, Orthesie)

Act I: Osiris: Entree des saisons et des arts

Act I: Osiris: Entree de moissonneurs et de vendangeurs

Act I: Osiris: Air des satyres

Act I: Osiris: Choeur: Quels doux parfums, quelles vives couleurs! (Amazones Sauvages)

Act I: Osiris: Scene: Peuple leger, ton coeur cesse d'etre inflexible (Mirrine)

Act I: Osiris: Sarabande en rondeau pour les berceaux de fleurs qui s'elevent

Act I: Osiris: Rigaudon I-II

Act I: Osiris: Choeur et scene: Quels objets enchanteurs! (Amazones Sauvages, Orthesie, Osiris, Suite d'Osiris)

Act I: Osiris: Scene: Il regne en souverain sur toute la nature (Osiris)

Act I: Osiris: Bruit de guerre: Que notre serment s'accomplisse (Mirrine, Suite d'Mirrine, Orthesie, Osiris, Choeurs de leurs Suites)

Act I: Osiris: Scene: Vous defendez des jours que j'offre a vos appas (Osiris, Orthesie)

Act I: Osiris: Scene: Qu'a la voix d'Osiris ces deserts s'embellissent (Osiris)

Act I: Osiris: Mouvement de sarabande et de loure

Act I: Osiris: Gigue

Act I: Osiris: Air: Heureux oiseaux, l'Amour embellit ces bocages (Orthesie)

Act I: Osiris: Contredanse

Act II: Canope: Ritournelle et scene: L'Egypte dans ce jour (Ageris, Canope)

Act II: Canope: Scene: Ah! Nilee, est-ce vous? (Memphis, Canope)

Act II: Canope: Air: Tout-a-coup, le tonnerre eclate dans les airs (Memphis)

Act II: Canope: Scene: Un songe qui cause nos craintes (Canope)

Act II: Canope: Choeur et scene: Quelle victime! O ciel! (Choeur, Memphis, Canope)

Act II: Canope: Air: Veille Amour, veille sur les jours (Memphis)

Act II: Canope: Scene: Je gemis des rigueurs du sort (Le Grand-Pretre, Memphis)

Act II: Canope: Air majestueux

Act II: Canope: Hymne au dieu du fleuve: Dieu bienfaisant (Le Grand-Pretre)

Act II: Canope: Bruit semblable au tonnerre: Impetueux torrents (Canope, Le Grand-Pretre, Pretres, Peuples)

Act II: Canope: Scene: Peuple aveugle (Canope, Pretres, Peuples)

Act II: Canope: Scene: Quel spectacle touchant pour une ame sensible (Canope, Memphis)

Act II: Canope: Duo: Vous m'aimez, je n'en puis douter (Canope, Memphis)

Act II: Canope: Air: Vous qui m'obeissez, accourez a ma voix (Canope)

Act II: Canope: Chaconne: Tendre Amour, dans tes chaines (Choeur)

Act II: Canope: Air: Amour, lance tes traits, fais triompher tes feux (Une Egyptienne)

Act II: Canope: Rigaudon I-II

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Scene: Le bonheur de la terre est le bien ou j'aspire (Arueris)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Scene: Ingrat, pour les beaux-arts (Orie, Arueris)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Scene: Les dons les plus brillants (Arueris, Orie)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Air et scene: Cette plaine vaste et feconde (Arueris, Orie)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Air et scene: Entrez dans la carriere (Arueris, Orie)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Air gai

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Scene: Vos plaisirs et votre allegresse (Arueris)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Quatuor: Brillez sons enchanteurs (Un Berger Egyptien, 3 Autres Egyptiens, Choeur)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Sarabande

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Air gai et parodie: L'amant que j'adore (Une Bergere Egyptienne)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Musette en rondeau et parodie: Ma Bergere fuyait l'amour (Un Berger Egyptien)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Air gai

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Tambourin I-II

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Scene et cantatille: Pour entendre ma voix (Orie)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Quintette et choeur: Ciel, quels accents! (Tous)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Scene: A l'objet de vos voeux (Arueris, Orie)

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Air de triomphe

Act III: Arueris ou Les Isies: Duo: Hymen, c'est le jour de ta gloire (Orie, Arueris)

BBC Music Magazine

February 2015


“The music, with Rameau very much in his prime, matches the spectacle and drama...While Herve Niquet's musical direction is generally and excellently consistent, this performance is by no means perfect...But the recorded sound is good and this rarity certainly repays attention.”

CD Review

18th October 2014

“the performances are so, so fresh and so present.”

Early Music Today

“There is some superb singing here, particularly from soprano Chantal Santon-Jeffery, high tenors Mathias Vidal and Reinoud Van Mechelen, and bass Tassis Christoyannis...Le Concert Spirituel does an outstanding job with the sumptuous score and its beguiling stream of song, speech and dance.”

Financial Times

4th October 2014


“The singing is buoyant, the playing of Le Concert Spirituel under Hervé Niquet affectionate and uplifting – one of the more imaginative tributes for the composer’s 350th anniversary year.”

Gramophone Magazine

December 2014

“The solo writing ranges from recitative to da capo arias; the delightful orchestration includes independent bassoon parts. Apart from a backward harpsichord continuo, the recording is excellent. And, oh yes, so are the singing and playing.”

International Record Review

December 2014

“[Santon's] gleaming tone and smoothly flowing emission are rewardingly dulcifying...[Vidal] produces a clean, focused sound, lightish when singing A Pleasure in the Prologue and tonally fuller as Arueris...[Chrystoyannis's] baritone brings a different colour and range from what has gone before...Niquet appears to strike sensible tempos.”

Sunday Times

12th October 2014

“The story is sophisticated light entertainment. The music, however, is first-rate and stylishly performed by Niquet, his solo team and the band’s players and chorus.”

The Guardian

8th October 2014


“Few ensembles do French baroque as well as Le Concert Spirituel with their conductor Hervé Niquet. There’s a real understanding here of the innate sexiness of this music. The orchestral and choral sound is wonderfully rich without ever turning pompous.”

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