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Lully - Persée / Les Talens Lyriques, Rousset Deluxe Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Deluxe Edition, June 11, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This opera concerns Perseus, his love for Andromeda, and his killing of the snake-headed gorgon Medusa. Jean-Baptiste Lully clearly meant the heroic Perseus to stand for Louis XIV, who commissioned the work. Indeed, while Persee is not on stage all the time, he is the central character of this lengthy, ceremonial, beautifully scored work. Those who love the peculiar formalities of French Baroque opera will need no coaxing. For others, the lovely dance interludes, the grand gestures of Andromeda (who loves Persee but is promised to Phinee, a role gorgeously sung by Anna Maria Panzarella), the big choral sections, the fearless deeds of Persee (he battles a sea monster in Act IV), and the overall strength of this live, lively performance should win new fans. Yes, there's definitely the whiff of powdered wigs abounding, but the splendor of Lully's music--here conducted by the redoubtable Christophe Rousset leading Les Talens Lyriques--makes it all seem far more urgent. Recommended. --Robert Levine

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Marche pour les suivants de la Fortune
  2. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Les dieux ne l'ont donné que pour le bien du monde
  3. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Que jusques dans les jeux tout nous parle de luy
  4. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Premier Air des violons et Second air des haubois

Disc: 2

  1. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Le monstre approche de ces lieux
  2. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Téméraire Persée, arrestez, respectez...
  3. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Descendons sous les ondes
  4. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Le monstre est mort, Persée en est vaniqueur!
  5. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Gigue
  6. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Nostre espoir alloit faire naufrage
  7. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Honorons à jamais le glorieux héros
  8. Persée, opera, LWV 60: O mort! venez finir mon destin déplorable
  9. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Hymen, ô doux Hymen!
  10. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Air pour les sacrificateurs
  11. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Persée, il n'est plus temps de garder le silence
  12. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Persée, il faut périr, meurs...
  13. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Quelles horreurs! Quelles allarmes!
  14. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Le soin de vous deffendre en ces lieux me rapelle
  15. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Qu'il n'eschape pas, qu'il périsse
  16. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Air des violons
  17. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Passacaille
  18. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Héros victorieux, Andromède est à vous
  19. Persée, opera, LWV 60: Air


Product Details

  • Performer: Paul Agnew, Anna Maria Panzarella, Salome Haller, Jerome Correas, Vincent Billier, et al.
  • Orchestra: Les Talens Lyriques
  • Conductor: Christophe Rousset
  • Composer: Jean-Baptiste Lully
  • Audio CD (June 11, 2002)
  • Deluxe Edition edition
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Deluxe Edition
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00005S7XP
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,420 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By David Leeson on June 13, 2002
After three centuries of undeserved obscurity, the lyric tragedies of Jean-Baptiste Lully are finally being rediscovered and revived. Persée (1682) is one of Lully's finest compositions-a true lost masterpiece. Christophe Rousset and his singers and players have done the world a favour by recording this work and making it available to a wide audience.
This is not quite the best recording ever of a Lullian opera: in my opinion, Christie's Atys is still the best. However, Rousset's Persée is every bit as good as Herreweghe's Armide, or Minkowski's recent Acis et Galatée. The score is rich and diverse, with less recitative and more choruses and divertissements than usual. The orchestra takes an unusually active part. Quinault's libretto is quite good, and almost worth reading on its own.
The performance is top-notch. There are no big names among the soloists-at least, none that I recognize-but they are all excellent. Paul Agnew is appropriately regal, making the most of his surprisingly small role as Perseus. The best parts go to the villains: Salomé Haller and Jéròme Correas are memorable as the wretched Merope and the evil Phineus. The big star here is the choir (Les Chantres de la Chapelle, conducted by Olivier Schneebeli), especially in Act IV, when it moves effortlessly from the despondent "Descondons sous les ondes" to the triumphant "Le monstre est mort, Persée en est vainqueur!" Les Talens Lyriques play very well under the direction of Christophe Rousset.
There are only three problems with these discs:
First, the English translation of Quinault's lyrics is sometimes poor, and may confuse listeners who do not speak French.
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I managed to find this some time ago, and immediately purchased it.(It was out of print and unavailable through Amazon by that time) Having heard the operas of Gluck, as well as some other composers, I decided to venture into French Baroque. Since then, I've heard and acquired a number of Lully's operas, as well as a few by the generation of French composers that followed him. However, I believe this one was only surpassed by Rousset's version of 'Roland', and perhaps Niquet's recent one of 'Proserpine'. But unlike a previous reviewer, I would say this is the better rendition of 'Persée', although it lacks the amount of energy that drives Niquet's conducting, or that of the BEMF performances, though the latter are not quite as good as this. But it's simply so divine that I'm not sure it could ever be topped. Stylistically, it is of the second generation of Lully's tragedies, which differ slightly from earlier works such as 'Alceste', an innovation which began with 'Proserpine'. And indeed one commentator on the work said that it was the operas 'Atys' and 'Persée' which were Lully's finest. Get it if you are lucky enough to find it. And if you can't, go for 'Proserpine', 'Atys', or 'Roland' if you aren't familiar with Lully.
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If you love Lully or his "Atys", you will be love this exciting rcording.
Christophe Rousset and his Les talens lyriqus' one of finest recording!
Singers are Paul Agnew, Anna Maria Panzarella, Salomé Haller, Jérôme Correas, Vincent Billier, Monique Simon, Robert Getchell, Béatrice Mayo Feli, Laurent Slaars, Cyrisl Auvity, Bruno Rostand.
If you like French baroque opera, some of them are familier... Angew and Panzarella are so sweet.... Haller will be future baroque star (she will sing Handel's Agrippina in 2003)...
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