This is a very good recording for a bargain price. The disc contains the full libretto of both actes de ballet Pygmalion and Nelee & Myrthis, which is not very usual in the "Musique d'abord" series. The best and main work is of course Pygmalion. Take the ouverture for example, my favourite ouverture by Rameau, is very descriptive, you can perfectly see Pygmalion sculpting the statue, chipping the marble, with a series of repeated notes: Outstanding. Then, there is the voice of Howard Crook, a high tenor who has sung a lot of french music, and he is not only technically perfect as an haute-contre, but his voice has a beautiness and a dramatic quality very difficult to find. Just listen to him with the first sentence in the work: "Fatal amour, cruel vainqueur"...is just moving. There is also the beautiful "Volez, empressez-vous d'embellir ce séjour",full of agilities and sung superbly by a very young Sandrine Piau, who nowadays has gained a very well deserved reputation internationally. At the end of the work there is also one of the most beautiful tenor arias by Rameau (Régne, amour). The orchestra and conducting is exemplary, as it usually happens with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants. Fully recommended if you, like me, are in love with Rameau's music.
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