26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Stylish baroque at budget price,
This review is from: Rameau: Ballet Suites (Audio CD)
The orchestral parts of Rameau's many operas and similar works are a delight in terms of instrumentation and dance-derived energy. This Naxos disc - at their usual super-budget price - draws from different sources: Platee, Dardanus and Pygmalion. The numbers are mostly short, by turns affecting and mercurial; and the playing is tremendous. The European Union Baroque Orchestra re-invents itself annually as a seed-bed for many of the best-known early-music bands all over Europe, and draws its members from all over the EU. Amazingly, these recordings date variously from 1999, 2001 and 2003, and the personnel changes radically. Same leader (Nicolas Mazzoleni) and conductor (the admirable Roy Goodman),though, which ensures a uniform lively approach and a similar sound picture - even if venues vary from Brussels to Oxford.
A brightly prominent harpsichord is partnered by organ in the continuo department, and the string band is augmented by oboes, bassoon, flutes and sometimes, to great effect, swirling piccolos.
The titles of the movements are a delight - I loved 'Air for merry madmen and sad madmen' and a crazy pot-pourri movement called 'Les differents caracteres de la danse', where Rameau crams 9 different dance styles into little over 3 minutes! And the EUBO is comfortably up to it: this is a stylish and capable ensemble presenting some of the most appealing fare of the french Baroque.And all for less than the price of a croque-monsieur and a biere blonde.