200 Ans de Musique - Versailles (Versailles - 200 Years of Music) Box set, Live
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box, you can now witness this landmark of French Baroque music.
Yes, the performers include three generations of wonderful French Baroque specialists (including Buffalo born and raised William Christie) but it's the slightly mad submersion in the French Baroque repertoire that makes this immense and admittedly recondite anthology among the more jaw-dropping box sets of the season. The composers, of course, include those anyone would expect -- Lully, Charpentier, Couperin, Rameau -- but also such masters as Campra, Lalande and Mondonville not exactly commonplace. Given the very nature of the anthology -- music played at Versailles -- the majority of it is vocal and choral, as befitting the proper scale (too much solo keyboard music from Rameau and Couperin, for instance, would have been strange and not entirely apt, however aesthetically just). Here is an exploration of classical repertoire both unusual and on the highest level. -- The Buffalo News, Jeff Simon, November 23, 2008
Top Customer Reviews
The superbly produced box divides the repertoire into four broad categories: The Secrets of Versailles at the Time of Louis XIII; The "Pleasures" of Versailles During the Reign of Louis XIV; Refinement at Versailles Under Louis XV; The Twilight of Versailles Under Louis XVI.
Space doesn't permit detailed review of each disc but there are plenty of treasures. I'm not a big fan of the air de cour, but the subtle beauties of music by Antoine Boesset and Robert Ballard receive sensitive and marvelously nuanced performances by soprano Monique Zanetti and lutenist Claire Antonini on the CD devoted to music from the salons of the early French Baroque.
For my tastes, things really get rolling during the reign of Louis XIV. There are two CDs of music by Jean-Baptist Lully including excerpts from his opera Amadis featuring the splendid soprano Véronique Gens. A second CD with excerpts from operas by André Cardinal Destouches, Marin Marais, Pascal Colasse and my favorite composer of the period, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, feature the sensational young mezzo-soprano Stéphanie d'Oustrac.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is wonderful introduction to, and Grand Tour of, William Christie and other masters of interpretation, recorded at Versailles. Read morePublished 23 months ago by 3rd Day Believer
This is a 69 year old student of musicology and performance with a overwhelming understanding of all things French. Read more