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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The genius of Rameau, October 18, 2006
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This review is from: Rameau - Dardanus, Orchestral Suite · Les Fêtes d'Hébé, 3ème entrée "La Danse" / Gomez · Rodde · Orliac · Gardiner (Audio CD)
For any of us who are true classical music enthusiasts, researchers, and especially students, Rameau is an absolute necessity in your collection. He was a genius WAY beyond his time. Probably one of the first great orchestrators, he theorized about it and even wrote books on the subject. While he was not especially prolific, there is much to enjoy and even be surprised at in all of his music.

My particular favorite in this disc is "La Danse". While his music is not as experimental here as for example, "Nais", There is remarkable beauty and skill in this particular work. Rameau will double the soprano voice with the winds in harmony and controlled dynamics to create the illusion that there are 2 singers, when actually there is just one! I have not heard this type of orchestration before anywhere and the effect is startling. Rameau obviously took a great amount of time studying dynamics, harmonics, etc. His harmonies are very beautiful, the slow movements here almost foreshadowing the great British romanticism of the 20th century. The limited use of ornamentation, and a strong sense of legato separate Rameau from his contemporaries, and no doubt this contributed to his detractors.

His talent is so great that I dare say Stravinsky's neoclassicism owes a huge amount to Rameau. Once you hear his music, you realize how UNoriginal many of the neoclassicists were.

The performances are excellent, the remastering quite good, in spite of a small amount of noise and rumble.

I HIGHLY recommend this CD and urge classical music lovers to seek out Rameau's music.
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