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Lully: Psyché

Audio CD | Box Set

5.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Lully, J.-B.: Psyche [Opera]
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Audio CD, Box set, July 29, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Review

CPO follows its stellar releases of Conradi's Ariadne and Lully's Thésée by the Boston Early Music Festival with an equally extraordinary performance of Lully's Psyché. These are works that have had limited exposure and are known far better by reputation than by performances or recordings. What's revelatory about the recordings of the Lully operas is how exceptionally attractive the music is; it's amazing that works of this quality have been unheard for centuries, and their resurrection, particularly in performances as fine as these, is a cause for rejoicing for any opera lover eager to look beyond the standard repertoire. Lully's vocal writing, even his recitatives, is graceful and expressive, and the numerous ensembles in Psyché are marvels of charm and inventiveness. The variety and cleverness of his orchestration keeps the listener constantly engaged. Much credit goes to Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs, who lead the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra and Chorus, and to all the musicians who contributed to the realization of the score. The performances are elegant, but never stuffy, and they are bursting with energy and liveliness. It's remarkable to encounter a cast of such high quality and consistency; it's a real achievement for the directors to have assembled a cast of over 20 soloists who sing with beautifully pure, fresh, focused tone; the understanding and ability to master the idiom and complex system of middle Baroque French ornamentation and immaculate French pronunciation. They also bring strong, vivid characterizations to their roles, so the performance has real dramatic energy. CPO's sound is absolutely clean and beautifully balanced. Highly recommended. -- AllMusic.com, Stephen Eddins, August 2008

Jeremy Eichler's Top CD Picks of 2008: Lully's opera, the mainstage production at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2006, has been given a richly satisfying recording that captures much of the freshness and elegance of the live performances. The cast includes the sopranos Carolyn Sampson and Karina Gauvin, both in radiant voice. -- Boston.com, Jeremy Eichler, December 2008

Recording of the Month: There is a dignity beyond the usual in the way each charismatic alternation between joviality, joke, joy and profound, perceptiveness, pensiveness is brought out. Neither is the theatricality overplayed in the pace of this performance, nor the beauty of such moments as that in the last scene of Act III, say, [CD2 tr.20] lost. Almost as though the singers were participating to demonstrate 'method-acting' mixed with family therapy with a smile - bravi!

The recording is clean, forward and nicely resonant. The booklet that comes with the three CDs is exceptionally well produced with essays, photographs (albeit somewhat small), the libretto, synopsis and timeline, biographies of the performers and useful background to the production and the Boston Festival.

This is a recording to be snapped up, then. It's to be hoped that, as a result of the high standard set here, Psyché might be heard more often. This is certainly a recording to which one can return time and again, deriving something new and deeper each time. -- Musicweb-International.com, Mark Sealey, October 2008

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Prologue. Pourquoy du Ciel m'obliger à descendre?
  2. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Prologue. Symphonie
  3. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Prologue. Mon Fils, si tu plains mes mal-heurs
  4. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Prologue. Entr'Acte (Ouverture)

Disc: 2

  1. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Scene 1. Si je fais vanité de ma tendresse extrême
  2. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Scene 2. Enfin, insolente Rivale
  3. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Scene 3. Vous croyez trop la jalouze colere
  4. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Prélude pour Scene derniere - Venus veut-elle resister?
  5. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Prélude pour Apollon - Recit. Unissons-nous, Troupe Immortelle
  6. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Choeur. Celebrons ce grand Jour
  7. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Prélude pour Bacchus, Mome et Mars - Recit. Si quelque fois
  8. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Recit. Je cherche à médire
  9. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Choeur. Chantons les plaisirs charmants
  10. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Premier Air pour Bergers - Chanson. Le Dieu qui nous engage
  11. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Air - Chanson. Ce seroit grand dommage
  12. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Deuxième Air - Gardez-vous, Beautez severes
  13. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Air - Chanson. On ne peut aimer sans peines
  14. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Air pour Menades - Chanson. Admirons le Jus de la Treille
  15. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Deuxième Air - Chanson. Bacchus veut qu'on boive à longs traits
  16. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Air - Chanson. Ce Dieu rend nos voeux satisfaits
  17. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Trio. Voulez-vous des douceurs parfaites?
  18. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Air - Chanson. Plaisantons, ne pardonnons rien
  19. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Prelude de Trompettes pour Mars
  20. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Chanson. Laissons en paix toute la Terre
  21. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Derniere Entrée
  22. Psyché, opera, LWV 56: Act 5. Final Scene. Choeur. Chantons les Plaisirs charmants


Product details

  • Performer: Carolyn Sampson, Karina Gauvin, Amanda Forsythe, Olivier Laquerre, Colin Balzer, et al.
  • Orchestra: Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra
  • Conductor: Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs
  • Composer: Jean-Baptiste Lully
  • Audio CD (July 29, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: CPO
  • ASIN: B0019BCKNE
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,123 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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