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Sun King's Paradise


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Audio CD, February 15, 2000
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$33.98 $129.54

1. Les Caracteres De La Danse: Prld/Courente/Menuet/Bourree/Chaconne/Sarabande/Gigue/Rigaudon...
2. Prld
3. Chaconne
4. Second Livre De Pieces De Viol, Paris: Tombeau Pour M. Ste Colombe:
5. Cinquieme Livre De Pieces De Viol, Paris: Ste In D: I. Prld
6. Cinquieme Livre De Pieces De Viol, Paris: Ste In D: II. Sarabande
7. Cinquieme Livre De Pieces De Viol, Paris: Ste In D: III. Rondeau 'Le Brillant'
8. Deuxieme Livre De Pieces De Clavecin: Musette De Choisie & Musette De Tavernie
9. Ste in D: I. Prld
10. Ste in D: II. Sarabande
11. Ste in D: III. Fant Champetre
12. Ste in D: IV. Gavotte Et Double
13. Ste in D: V. Gigue
14. Ste in D: VI. Gransle De Village
15. Ste in D: VII. Rigaudon
16. Ste in D: VIII. Menuets I-IV
17. Ste in D: IX. Sym

Product Details

  • Performer: Jean-Fery Rebel, Etienne Le Moine, Marin Marais, Francois Couperin, William Carter, et al.
  • Audio CD (February 15, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Linn Records
  • ASIN: B00004BZ00
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,091,425 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Brianna Neal on November 27, 2002
Another thoroughly enjoyable recording by the Palladian Ensemble! The Palladian Ensemble and Chatham Baroque have both released CDs of French music from the reign of Louis the XIV (this one and "Danse Royale" respectively). Although the selections differ, the tone is much the same, and well enough--this is beautiful stuff, and it is nice to be able to compare the interpretations of two such accomplished ensembles. If pressed, I would have to say that while the dual-violin-over-gamba-and-theorbo sound of Chatham Baroque is slightly richer than Palladian's pairing of violin and recorder over the same low instruments, Palladian's work is a bit more playful. Both groups make for utterly splendid listening, however--at once deeply relaxing and cheerfully invigorating. If you have a CD player that will randomly mix and match from multiple discs, buy them both and listen to them together for a double treat. Add a hot bath and a cold drink to the experience, especially when you're trying to de-stress, and I can't imagine you could get much closer to heaven!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan Lekan on January 22, 2006
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Having produced marvelous recordings of the Baroque eras of Germany, Italy and England ("Trios for 4" and "A Choice Collection"), the Palladian Ensemble settle into the more relaxed, richly harmonic music of the French Baroque and the Court of Louis XIV ("The Sun King"). Featured are courty works by Rebel, Le Moine, Marais and the great Couperin. In the notes, theorbo player William Carter describes the differences in the music of this period in France: "What is it about this music that exerts such a particular fascination on musicians and listeners alike? Maybe it is the composer's constant awareness of and delight in the instrumental sonorities and colour. This delight in the subtle distinctions and love of timbre for its own sake is a source of pleasure in French music of our own time as well (Rameau through Berlioz and Debussy to Messian and Boulez). But perhaps it is simply the feeling (which can be rare in other styles of early music) that the composers were actually in love with the instruments for which they wrote. Whatever the reason, it is a pleasure for us to relax into this music which always rewards the performer as well as the listener."

Compared to their other recordings, this one has a notably calm mood and is full of alluring expression from all players. The piece of Le Moine is a beautiful work for solo theorbo while Marais gives two subtle works scored for bass viol and theorbo. Neither are in any hurry to prove anything beyond the sheer enjoyment and wonder of the rich tones the instruments exude. The opening "Les Caracteres de la Danse" is, yes, much about the dances of the Court which were elevated to a supreme place of importance by the King (who was supposedly a fine dancer). Its character is festive but with an intelligent compostional structure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Besenbruch on October 11, 2012
...you will like this. I came across this ensemble when searching for Rachel Podger. She is one of the best players of the baroque violin out there, but she plays only in the full ensemble pieces. The theorbo player, William Carter, gets a couple of solo pieces by Etienne le Moine. He also plays in every other piece. Susanne Heinrich gets a bass viol suite by Marais (Carter accompanies). The rest feature the full ensemble, and Podger is just one player among four.

The other three players are very good. I especially like Pamela Thorby's recorder playing. There are many technically excellent recorder players out there, but far fewer who show Thorby's musicianship.

Susanne Heinrich's viol playing is flawless. What sets her apart is her knowledge of the French style. If you are just encountering this music, Heinrich's pieces (by Marais) might sound strange, and a bit boring. If you know what to listen for, you realize she is something of a French Baroque master.

The ensemble pieces are played as well as you will hear them performed anywhere. This is, I believe, one of Podger's last recording with the group (1998). The group disbanded in 2007 with the departure of Thorby. When together, they produced some splendid music.
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