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Rameau: Les Indes galantes [Box set]

Jean-Philippe Rameau Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Composer: Jean-Philippe Rameau
  • Audio CD (1 Oct 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B000027O75
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 228,944 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Les Indes galantes (59 tracks on 3 CD's) - Jean-Philippe Rameau

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful French Baroque Opera-Ballet 23 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase
I only came across Rameau recently when listening to the Proms (2010) where there was a performance by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales of the suite from Dardanus ; I was transfixed. To see if this was a fluke I visited YouTube and typed in Rameau, there were loads of hits and the piece that came up most was this opera-ballet and I was not disapointed. Rameau's dramatic music is without fail tuneful, imaginative, bright and touching by turns, it uses recitative sparingly, ensembles quite often and the ballets are just divine and for me, the best part of these magical works.

Turning to the specifics of this recording I can say that William Christie is made for this music, he has a fine sense of the dramatic and carries the colour throughout, his soloists and chorus are first rate and the band perfect for this repertoire. The packaging of this is top notch, the booklet including an interesting essay and a full libretto in 3 languages including French and English.

In essence I would give this set my full reccomendation and will be buying more Rameau very soon!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than the Dances 23 July 2013
I had the pleasure of seeing this masterpiece in Paris conducted by Christie and this performance replicates what was one of the high points of my Opera going career.

French Opera Ballet of the 18th centuryis a strange mixture, of recitative, short arias, duets, choruses, but in this case without much of a strong story line, it is more a spectacle which is where the ballet comes in.

Everyone who knows the "Suites" is aware of Rameau's genius in writing dance music, but he also writes superbly in the other aspects, and the ballet makes so much greater sense in context

Christie paces the whole work ,yes it is not just a series of dances, and the cast is strong particularly Fouchecourt, who delivers the achingly beautiful slow tenor ariettes in a very sensitive manner.

So if you can not get or afford to go to Paris or Glyndebourne, (amazingly only one Rameau opera has appeared at Covent Garden or ENO,) (and then re wriiten completely as is the wont of Opera producers), buy this entrancing set. The final Chaconne is worth the price alone
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Baroque opera and full of fun 3 Nov 2005
By Steven Guy - Published on Amazon.com
I cannot speak too highly of this magnificent recording of one of Jean-Philippe Rameau's most delightful operas.

The music is gorgeous and full of rhythm and colour and the singing in this performance is excellent. Many seasoned Baroque performers appear on this disc - Sandrine Piau, Isabelle Poulenard, Howard Crook, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Bernard Delétré, Claron McFadden, Nicolas Rivenq and Noémi Rime. Christophe Rousset plays the harpsichord continuo - he had not yet made a career for himself as a conductor at this time.

Les Arts Florissants, directed by William Christie, are in top form on this recording, which I believe is one of the highlights of Christie's career.

I bought this recording when it came out in 1991 and I have loved it ever since.

The Les Arts Florissants / William Christie DVD of this opera is well worth investigating, too. However, this original recording is enchanting.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an unstructured work... 1 Jan 2008
By E. Lyons - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I agree with all the other reviewers overwhelmingly positive comments about this set, but I just wanted to object to the pervasive opinion that the libretto is somewhat unstructured and only unified by the idea of the triumph of love: modern scholarship actually sees each of the four acts as reflecting the four main types of French baroque theatre prevalent in Rameau's day--i.e. sentimental melodrama (act 1), tragedy (act 2), comedy (act 3), and the idyllic pastoral (act 4).

This is a wonderful opera on many levels, and while I have a few (minor) problems with the DVD that is available, I have none about this set. Another masterpiece from Christie.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting 26 Jun 2006
By R. Albin - Published on Amazon.com
A lovely production of Rameau's opera-ballet. The form is set of essentially independent scenes united by a common theme, in this case the triumph of love. Rameau and his librettist capitalized on the Enlightenment fascination with exotic cultures, setting the stories in Ottoman Turkey, Inca Peru, Persia, and North America. To be sure, these are highly Europeanized versions of the settings. Much lovely music performed beautifully by the remarkable William Christie and Les Arts Florissants.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exoticism in the 1730s 28 Sep 2006
By John D. Pilkey - Published on Amazon.com
After a rather uninspired prologue as opening section according to Lully's five-part tradition, Rameau's ballet opera offers four different stories, each set in a different exotic locale. We get some idea of how Frenchmen conceived of the non-European world in the 1730s. The first story, "The Noble Turk," falls in line with Montesquieu's Persian Letters (1721) by suggesting that good character is more important than religious differences. This theme, alien to my own viewpoint and synonymous with the Enlightenment, led to an ideal of the Brotherhood of Man that dominated idealistic thinking for two centuries to come. The most remarkable of the four stories is the second, set in Peru at the time of the Spanish Conquest of the 1530s. A conquistador wins out as a love rival over a native priest of the Sun. This scene includes a striking hymn to the Sun and a musical volcanic eruption of the sort that offended traditional devotees of Lully's style. Actually Rameau's basic style adheres pretty closely to Lully's. These two composers, together, define French Baroque opera. As a ballet opera, Les Indes galantes presents as much instrumental music as singing.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's just really good...! 25 Mar 2010
By Jerry R - Published on Amazon.com
Pop it in and crank it if you're going for a long drive, this CD has shows off Rameau's superb orchestrations, walking-on-air dances, and it's played & sung so well! There are a couple beautiful soprano-with-flute arias, the very last aria in the piece is a mind-blower, the good stuff just keeps coming and coming.
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