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Rameau : Hippolyte Et Aricie

Rameau : Hippolyte Et Aricie

12 Sep 2006

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 12 Sep 2006
  • Release Date: 12 Sep 2006
  • Label: Warner Classics International
  • Copyright: 1997 Erato Disques S.A.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 3:02:16
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002ZKGT8U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,547 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
This is the one to have 25 Nov 1999
By "hcf" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As you know, there are two historically informed recordings of Hippolyte: the Minkowski and the Christie. There is also an older recording (not a period performance) with Janet Baker and John Shirley-Quirk, but that one's been out of print for years. I also have a CD in which the great Placido Domingo bellows Ah! Faut-il, but I will spare you my complaints about how "inauthentic" it sounds. For a genuinely authentic Hippolyte, listen to this recording. As far as the role of Hippolyte goes, it is difficult to choose between the Minkowski and the Christie. I'm a big fan of both Jean-Paul Fouchecourt's and Mark Padmore's, although, having listened to them in numerous other recordings, I must say that as Hippolyte neither turns in the performance of his career. However, both are splendid stage actors (speaking from a firsthand experience), so if you notice an occasional vocal flaw in the relatively disembodied atmosphere of a studio recording, I guarantee you, you wouldn't notice it if you were watching these singers live. Tenors aside, I prefer the Christie. He chooses the first, the original, version of Hippolyte, while Minkowski opts for the second remake. The difference is the most evident in the stunning second act - the descent of Tesee into the underworld. Les Arts Florissants as an ensemble, headed by a haute-contre Tisiphone, are much more expressive in this scene, than the Minkowski group. Christie really knows how to make these underworld scenes unfogettable: witness his skill in the invocation of evil spirits in Medee or his poignant rendition of Charpentier's La Descente d'Orphee aux Enfers. Laurent Naouri as Tesee is incomparable in Puisque Pluton, aided by Christie's imaginative split-second pauses in the flow of the aria. Then there is Lorraine Hunt. The divine Lorraine Hunt, whose luscious and tart voice is so conducive to the expression of love and anquish that permeate both Rameau's Hippolyte and Charpentier's Medee (another of her signature roles). Minkowski's Phedre is great in all respects, but Lorraine Hunt is in the league of her own. Christie's Hippolyte won Gramophone Best Early Opera Award in 1997 and the Cannes Classical Award in 1998. Minkowski's Hippolyte was also recognized: it won a Gramophone award nomination. You owe it to yourself to buy one of these recordings - or both!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A work to possess. 17 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If there was one opera work by Rameau to own, this lyric tragedy is THE one. Two characters are worth every praise: Phèdre and Thésée. Naouri in his exceptional aria "Puisque Pluton" is such a moving character, cursed to kill his own son with the help of gods (well not quite so, but he is not supposed to know). The aria in itself is a master work by Rameau (I believe it is his first official opera at an old age, whereas he always wanted to create one). And of course, "Quelles plaintes en ces lieux m'appellent?" is a scene to listen to till the end of times. Lorraine Hunt (with her mezzo/soprano voice) is a woman in fury, so proud to be the daughter of the Sun, so wounded by Love, trapped into her fantasies and acts. Just as Christie has written it, I have listened to this scene time and time again...
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Rameau served well by William Christie and Les Arts Florissants 28 Jun 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
For audiences who languish through the long hours in small opera houses around the world for productions of the works by Jean-Philippe Rameau ten this recording of HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE is sure to delight. William Christie and his orchestra and chorus who go by the collective name of Les Arts Florissants do wonders with works of this sort (the audiences who have witnessed his wondrous reading of The Messiah can attest to this) and this recording is one of his loveliest.

The playing and singing of the ensemble is light and air-borne and Christie has assembled a splendid cast who breathe life into this rather redundant mythological tale. Tenor Mark Padmore and mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt (now Lorraine Hunt Lieberson) are especially outstanding but there really isn't an insecure voice in this cast. The singing is in the style of Rameau's period - graceful, fluid, well embellished, and artsy! In every way this performance is a period piece and as such it is probably as fine as a performance of the opera as we're likely to hear.

For lovers of baroque music this elegant and wistfully executed performance of Rameau, France's greatest baroque composer, is a must. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, June 05
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Don't miss this one!!!!! 14 Oct 1999
By J. Luis Juarez Echenique - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Jean Philippe Rameau is the greatest French composer. His music reflects the wisdom and taste of the Age of Enlightenment. He composed his first opera when he was already 50 years old, so all his stage works show the maturity and confidence of a great artist. His music is very demanding, but I am sure you will agree with me that the extra effort pays enormous dividends. This recordings is a gem, all the singers are admirable, and the orchestra and chorus quite simply matchless. But it is the genius of William Christie who takes center stage, his pacing and understanding of the French Baroque is glorious. His Rameau conducting is on a par with Furtwangler conducting Wagner or Toscanini conducting Verdi, if you miss this sensational recording, you will be very, very sorry.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
All-round brilliant recording; but fatal for the serious listener for lack of libretto. 13 Sep 2012
By Abert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
RAMEAU Hippolyte et Aricie - (Cast) Mark Padmore (ten) Hippolyte; Anna-Maria Panzarella (sop) Aricie; Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo) Phèdre; Laurent Naori (bass bari) Thésée; Eirian James (mezzo) Diana; Gaëlle Mechaly (sop) L'Amour, Female Sailor; Nathan Berg (bass) Jupiter, Pluton, Neptune; Katalin Karolyi (mez) Oenone; Yann Beuron (ten) Areas Mercure; Francois Piolino (ten) Tisiphone; Christopher Josey (ten) Fate I; Matthieu Ikeroart (bar) Fate II; Bertrand Bontoux (bass) Fate III; Mireille Delunsch (sop) High Priestess; Mechaly (Cupid/Sailor Girl); Patricia Petibon (Priestess/Shepherdess); William Christie conducting the Les Arts Florissants
This recording of Hippolyte et Aricie was made in Paris at the Salle Wagram in 1996, following performances the year before at the Palais Garnier.
This Sylvie Bouis-sou's edition, trumps Minkowski/Musiciens du Louvre (Archiv 001572102)'s version in terms of authenticity, as one reviewer already noted, in restoring much but not all recitatives, in an attempt to get at what Rameau wanted before being forced to make concessions for the performance of his first opera. The most significant variation occurs at the end of the work, where conductor William Christie includes some recitative, a short air, and a reprised chorus that aren't in Minkowski. The differences between the two versions are such that it is difficult to follow the Christie version with Minkowski's libretto. This reissue by Warner, however, is without the libretto, which is the greatest downside of this release.
Despite the opera's title, the main protagonists are Theseus and his queen Phaedra, whose guilty passion for her `son' Hippolytus precipitates the tragedy (even though there is a happy ending for the eponymous pair). Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is even more passionate than Dame Janet Baker was on the Decca recording, and particularly impressive in "Cruelle mere des amours" which begins Act 3, an aria into which Rameau poured all his artifices of affecting suspensions and harmonies. Rameau's composing skill is fully evident in this work: the profusion of invention, the unobtrusive contrapuntal skill, the charm and colour of the instrumentation and the freedom allotted to the orchestra. The work's final scene, set in a woodland, is filled with an enchanting atmosphere, ending, after the customary chaconne, with "Rossignols amoureux" (delightfully sung by Patricia Petibon). Anna-Maria Panzarella makes an appealingly youthful Aricia (to whom Rameau allocates surprisingly little on her own), and Mark Padmore is an affecting and lyrical Hippolyte, if not outright perfect, making the most of his despairing Act 4 aria "Ar, faut-il, enc jour, perdre tout ce que j'apos'aime?".
Lorraine Hunt is exceptional as Phèdre, for interpretation, vocal beauty, and agility. Laurent Naouri has a firm lower range, and a refined baritonal timbre for the top notes. Eirian James is able to combine a forward enunciation with a dark tone, and has a strong theatrical sense. The only slight disappointment is Anna-Maria Panzarella. Her tendency to sing ever so slightly flat followed by an adjustment upward after landing on a held note led to vocal problems, which include sluggish movement from note to note and an inability to color or soften the voice.
In all but Panzarella, Christie's Hippolyte et Aricie is as good as or better than Minkowski.
The only quibble with this re-issue, which is an important one, is the lack of libretto.
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