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Customer Review

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous recording, but NO libretto!!, 26 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Rameau: Hippolyte et Aricie (Audio CD)
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.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Apr 2017, 09:52:41 BST
Last edited by the author on 13 Apr 2017, 10:06:57 BST
Quite agree that shoddy reissuing deserves a mark-down - a big mark-down might even attract the attention of someone who knows someone who knows someone who knew the PA of someone who once worked in a building quite near the offices of the 'record company' that 'reissued' it. It's most certainly NOT always about the artistic/sonic quality of a recording in these reviews.
Amazon have dumped your review on the ORIGINAL issue's page, when presumably you aimed to affix it to the reissue's page (though it's apt it's ended up here). I'm waiting tightfistedly for the used price to hit my target for the original set, but in the meantime have established via a very kind small seller (and a little info on Discogs) that it came with not only a proper booklet/libretto (of course, for these originals), but also an outer slipcase. Now the really bad news is that the booklet was outsized, i.e. it fitted only inside the slipcase, not inside the fat jewel case. So you may be sure the big Marketplace sellers will be trying to pass off booklet-less AND case-less examples as 'very good' (and once those outer slipcases go, the booklets tend to go with them, in their CDs-by-the-ton(ne) world).
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