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Carolyn Sampson, a soprano with a reputation for performances of dazzling virtuosity and musicality, presents arias from seven operas by Rameau in her first solo recording. She is joined by Ex Cathedra and Jeffrey Skidmore, with whom she began her singing career whilst at Birmingham University.
Rameau's operas so dominated the stage of the Paris Opéra in the mid-1700s that their productions were officially ‘rationed' so as not to depress other composers. By turns tender, voluptuous, nostalgic, teasing, and even outrageously satirical, these arias are ravishingly beautiful.
“This wonderful music will always need special vocal advocacy and there can be few outside France as equipped as Carolyn Sampson.”
“The English soprano's musical intelligence, effervescent communication and richness of sound add up to a compelling package, especially so in this carefully chosen selection of Rameau's operatic love songs.”
“This is an ideal introduction to Rameau's stage music. The songs, drawn from seven operas, range from the joyful to the tempestuous via the poignant and heart-rending....Sampson's fluid, stylish singing is simply lovely... nobody could fail to be seduced by her performances.”
“To sum up: Sampson is radiant, voluptuous and utterly captivating. This is far and away her finest recording to date, and a more inspiring selection from Rameau's operas would be hard to find … there's a huge audience out there who, if only they knew how ravishing, how life-enhancing this music is, would buy a copy instantly.”
“Carolyn Sampson's voice almost inevitably gives pleasure and her singing of this repertoire, strikingly varied in its stylistic and expressive ranges, is well nigh ideal”
“Carolyn Sampson is as dazzling in the vocal pyrotechnics as she is touching in the CD's title song, "Règne Amour"”
“Skidmore, a painstaking conductor, breathes boundless energy into his many-coloured orchestra; the group provides faultless support for the exquisite soprano Carolyn Sampson”
Early Music Review
“This is a stunning CD. Never before have I heard such fantastic performances of Rameau from an English group. The undoubted star of the show is former choirboy-soundalike Carloyn Sampson, whose voice has (seemingly) been gradually developing velvety tones over the past year or so, and here is showcased in all its spectacular radiance in selections from seven of Rameau's stage works.”
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