Rameau - Suites from Platée & Dardanus / PBO · McGegan by MCGEGAN, NICHOLAS
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This suite of dances from Dardanus
is an ideal introduction to Rameau. Though his operas are full of articulate use of language and are, in their own polite way, theatrically charged, French baroque opera required periodic dance interludes, which is what is included here. Unlike 19th-century French opera, the dance music in these 18th-century works is often among the most fascinating in the entire opera, full of rich, unorthodox scoring and so packed with ideas underneath the mellifluous exterior that each interlude often seems like a miniature concerto for orchestra. Conductor Nicholas McGegan's natural rhythmic effervescence makes him ideal for this music--he should record more of it, much more--and his Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra copes handily with the substantial difficulties posed by a composer who thought each melodic strand should have a strong mind of its own. --David Patrick Stearns