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This CD presents the destiny of women who are in love, deceived, abandoned, haunted by despair, and who struggle against fate, their passions and the men who have betrayed them. For example, the magnificent - and very little recorded - cantata 'Ariane' by Philippe Courbois explores the torments troubling the heart of King Minos’ daughter abandoned by Theseus; yet her sorrow will be of short duration since Bacchus discovers her as she sleeps and falls in love with her. Rameau’s 'Orphée' also depicts the myth of love, of adoration, of the fear of losing the loved one in the most celebrated love story in mythology: that of Orpheus and Eurydice. As for the famous court air by Michel Lambert,' Ombre de mon amant', it resonates as a veritable homage to Orpheus’ plaintive song!
A sonata by Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre is a bonus, with its mix of Italian and French styles, and the disc concludes with Marin Marais’ 'Chaconne', a depiction of Ariadne’s regained happiness! In the repertoire in which it specialises, the Stravaganza Ensemble accompanies the young soprano Hasnaa Bennani, in her first solo recording, [she appears on the recent Zaïs on Aparté] for the embodiment of these female destinies. For her first solo disc, she, who has been rightly sought after by most orchestras and opera houses, pulls off a masterstroke; her fresh, warm and luminous voice is ideal for this repertory.
4th January 2016
“The cantatas of Rameau and Courbois are certainly not part of the standard repertoire and recordings of such works are welcome.”
Early Music Today
“Performances are…engaging, with Gilon’s agile, piquant violin an effective foil for Bennani’s rich soprano”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.