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Il Pianto d'Orfeo
or The Birth of Opera
Scherzi Musicali, Nicolas Achten
“The seamless narrative is organised into six subsections that follow the plot of the myth, connected together by instrumental pieces such as warmly played sinfonias by Rossi and music by Cavalieri...this captivating experience is enriched by Deborah York's five contributions” Gramophone Magazine, January 2015
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Ferveur & Extase
From Dido's desperate love to Mary's poignant fervour...
This sumptuous album, combines the sacred and profane, the cult of the Virgin Mary as opposed to Dido, Queen of Carthage, almost exclusively by 17th century Venetian Baroque composers.
It includes the iconic aria [Dido's Lament], Cavalli's Lamento di Didone and Scarlatti's Didone delirante, long thought lost, and a previously unrecorded cantata by Faggioli.
The vocally distinctive, theatrically brilliant French mezzo Stephanie d'Oustrac is accompanied by Ens Amarillis and Violaine Cochard.
“the sequence never feels like a series of bleeding chunks - indeed, among recordings of 17th-century Italian music, this programme stands out for its musical integrity and cohesiveness...d'Oustrac responds to the music's vacillating moods with a gorgeous variety of vocal effects and colours.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 *****
“[d'Oustrac] demonstrates arresting dramatic personality and intelligence with text to go with a mezzo voice with enough flexibility, lyrical composure and fragility enough to prevent her from sounding like an identikit raving lady.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2012
Les Escapades du Roi
Plaisirs et intrigues à la cour de Versailles
Monika Mauch (soprano)
Viol Consort ‘Les Escapades’
An invitation to experience music played in the court of Versailles – for Louis XIV and his successors. An imaginary story gives it its framework: A young provincial beauty comes to the court, is presented to the King and becomes his favourite, falls into disgrace through the intrigues of her rivals, but finally retrieves her honour.
In general this CD follows the hypothetical idea that music is the mirror of daily life – and even of the Baroque concept of always looking for a hidden sense beneath the surface of a work of art.
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