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This third release in the Prix de Rome series by Glossa is set to demonstrate a composer whose range of talents far extends beyond his famous opera 'Louise'.
After Debussy and Saint-Saëns, Hervé Niquet now turns to the dramatic realism of the late 19th century. The Italian period in Charpentier’s life (1888-1890) was actually his most fruitful creative. It was there, in Rome, that he worked on two masterly symphonic works: the one elaborating his 'Impressions d’Italie' which was to enjoy significant success right up until the Second World War; whilst the other, 'La Vie du poète', more experimental, called for three soloists, a chorus and a large symphonic orchestra. Thanks to the quality of his chorus 'La Fête des myrtes' and the magnificent Wagnerian cantata 'Didon', the composer won, in 1887, the famous Prix de Rome, opening the way for him to have a Bohemian séjour in the Villa Medici.
Gustave Charpentier: Impressions d'Italie
II. A la Fontaine
III. A mules
IV. Sur les cimes
Gustave Charpentier: Didon
Scene 1: Recitative and Air: Seule, me voila seule ici (Didon)
Scene 2: Recitative: Pourquoi cette tristesse? (Didon, Enee)
Scene 2: Duet: Enee aime Didon, Enne est aupres d'elle (Didon, Enee)
Scene 2: Recitative: La coupable jamais ne repose ou sommeille (Didon, Enee, Anchise) - Scene 3: Enee! Enee! (Didon, Enee, Anchise)
Scene 3: Air: Lavenir glorieux que tu pouvais attendre (Anchise)
Scene 3: Trio: Prends pitie de mes alarmes (Didon, Enee, Anchise) - Scene 4: Enee! Il me fuit! (Didon)
Gustave Charpentier: La vie du poete
Act I Scene 1, "Enthusiasm": Douce Lumiere (Chorus of Inner Voices, The Poet)
Act II Scene 1, "Doute": Entends-tu la nuit (Voices of the Night, A Voice) - Scene 2: Scene 2: Que me reserves-tu (The Poet, Voices of the Night)
Act III: Tableau 1, "Impotence": Si l'esprit dans le vide (Voices of Malediction, The Poet)
Act III: Tableau 2, "Inebriation": Sois maudit, Dieu perfide (Voices from the Past) - Scene 2: Trille, O fille (The Poet, The Girl, Voices from the Past, Voices of Tomorrow, Inner Voices)
Gustave Charpentier: La Fete des myrtes
La Fete des myrtes
“Two of the works here [Didon and La vie du Poete] pointed to a serious future for Charpentier in opera...the standard of performance under Herve Niquet and his chosen Belgian soloists and ensembles easily crosses over from archive duty into committed championship. The Brussels and Antwerp recordings are most natural. A huge recommendation, especially for Didon.”
“The result is a kind of operatic symphony and some of the music is stunning...this performance is preferable to the 1934 performance by Charpentier. For a start, modern recording allows us to hear the considerable delights of the orchestration, and the orchestral playing and choral singing are superior too...there is so much lovely music here.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.