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Fabulous recording, but NO libretto!!
on 26 September 2013
This is a re-release of a truly outstanding recording from 1997, in which Lorraine Hunt as Phedre and Mark Padmore as Hippolyte particularly shine. (They may well have constituted a "dream team" for Christie: they also appeared in his 1994 production of Charpentier's Medee, also released on CD, in 1995.) I certainly prefer this version to Minkowski's, in particular because of these two artists. The recording itself merits 5 stars.
But - and it is a big 'but' - this re-release, which looks identical to the original, is cheap because it is missing the libretto! The original is also available, I believe, with the ASIN: B000005E4S. It's more expensive, but so useful to have the libretto -- not least to follow the subtleties of this performance -- that there's really no choice. I should also say that Rameau made so many changes to this opera in its different stagings (as he did with all his operas), that it's important to have the libretto to know which version you're following (though I don't think this performance follows any of Rameau's precisely).
Shame on Amazon, and on Erato, for not making this important difference clear. For this, the recording gets only 2 stars.