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Christophe Rousset & Les Talens Lyriques - Desmarest: Venus & Adonis (2007)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 22-02-2018, 08:46
Christophe Rousset & Les Talens Lyriques - Desmarest: Venus & Adonis (2007)
Artist: Christophe Rousset & Les Talens Lyriques
Title Of Album: Desmarest: Venus & Adonis
Year Of Release: 2007
Label: Ambroisie Records
Country: France
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (*image + .cue, log, scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 02:11:56
Full Size: 746 MB


CD 1
01. Venus and Adonis, opera in 5 acts: Ouverture

Act 1
02. Scene 1. Lieux ecartez
03. Scene 2. Venus vient honorer
04. Scene 2. Charmante indifference
05. Scene 3. De nos transports
06. Scene 3. Tout rit
07. Scene 3. C'est en vain
08. Scene 3. Jeunes coeurs
09. Scene 3. Premier Passe-pied
10. Scene 3. Second Passe-pied pour les hautbois
11. Scene 3. Chantons, celebrons les appas
12. Scene 4. Vous qui reconnoissez
13. Scene 5. Adonis est comble
14. Scene 5. Il te souvient
15. Scene 6. Qu'ay-je entendu?
16. Scene 6. Reprise du Premier Passe-pied

Act 2
17. Venus and Adonis, opera in 5 acts: Scene 1. Hommages importuns
18. Scene 2. Je vous voy seul
19. Scene 2. Aimons a jamais
20. Scene 3. Preus part, chere Cidippe
21. Scene 4. Ay-je assez eprouve
22. Scene 5. Ta voix a reveille mes transports
23. Scene 5. Ministres de mes barbaries
24. Scene 5. Quittons le sejour des enfers
25. Scene 5. Premier Air pour la Suite de la Jalousie
26. Scene 5. Quel plaisir de repandre

Act 3
27. Venus and Adonis, opera in 5 acts: Scene 1. Quelle pompe nouvelle
28. Scene 2. Je ne puis rien comprendre
29. Scene 2. Si je puis averer
30. Scene 3. Premier Air
31. Scene 3. Sarabande. Heureux amans
32. Scene 3. Tendres prix des ames constantes
33. Scene 3. Connois le prix
34. Scene 3. Non ce n'est point
35. Scene 3. Mars paroit
36. Scene 4. Ou sont-ils ces objets
37. Scene 4. Ne tardons plus
38. Scene 4. Mon ame n'est asservie
39. Scene 5. Goutons un repos plein d'attraits
40. Scene 6. Arreste, dieu credule
41. Scene 6. Courons, courons
42. Scene 6. Reprise du Premier Air

CD 2
Act 4
01. Venus and Adonis, opera in 5 acts: Scene 1. D'une aveugle fureur
02. Scene 1. Par cet eloignement
03. Scene 2. Funeste et rigoureuse absence
04. Scene 3. C'est tarder trop long-temps
05. Scene 3. C'est peu d'une seule victime
06. Scene 4. C'en est fait
07. Scene 4. Venez, implacable Bellone
08. Scene 5. Par mes empressemens
09. Scene 5. Servons d'un dieu vangeur
10. Scene 6. Premier Air pour la Suite de Bellone
11. Scene 6. Second Air pour la Suite de Bellone
12. Scene 6. Vangeons-nous de l'amour fatal
13. Scene 6. Reprise du Second Air pour la Suite de Bellone

Act 5
14. Venus and Adonis, opera in 5 acts: Scene 1. Enfin je vais bien-tost
15. Scene 1. Prenez pitie
16. Scene 1. Que ces gemissements
17. Scene 2. Ciel! quel effroyable ravage!
18. Scene 2. Non, non, rien ne peut m'attendrir
19. Scene 3. Ah prince!
20. Scene 3. Tout s'unit, tout conspire
21. Scene 3. Quand les honneurs du diademe
22. Scene 4. Il me fuit
23. Scene 4. Passacaille. Adonis a dompte
24. Scene 5. Adonis a dompte
25. Scene 5. Passacaille
26. Scene 7. Orgueilleuse divinite
27. Scene 8. Il est mort!
28. Scene 8. Que toute la terre gemisse

Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques have done an immeasurable service to the revival of Baroque opera in modern times; of their superb 1996 set of Niccolo Jommelli's Armida Abbondata for FNAC it can be said that its entry into the recorded repertoire raised the bar on historically informed performances of this kind of material. Now Ambroisie, the label that raised Armida Abbondata itself after a long period of unavailability, has brought us a performance of Rousset and his group in Venus & Adonis, Henry Desmarest's 1697 opera, in a performance from spring 2006, recorded concurrently with the work's revival at the Opera Nationale du Lorraine. One might well ask how does it stack up to the Jommelli?

Venus & Adonis is a work born in scandal; as the recently widowed Desmarest (or, as Grove has it, "Desmarets") was in preparation of this opera he became involved in a torrid love affair with an 18-year-old singing student who just happened to be the daughter of the principal tax assessor of the region in which he lived. Although the opera was premiered sometime in spring 1697 and duly revived in Paris in 1705, by 1699, Desmarest and his bride were forced to flee to the Low Countries; back in Paris, the composer was hanged in effigy. This story could easily be the stuff of a major motion picture costume drama, and perhaps inspiring such a project is what Rousset has in mind in recording Venus & Adonis, because the work itself is incredibly uneven and overall, not great. Instrumental sections of the opera, brief as they tend to be, are engagingly realized by Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, and the middle of the first act moves at a brisk pace. Elsewhere, the piece falls flat through long stretches of unrelieved recitative; although by the clock the first scene only runs for four minutes it seems to last an eternity. This is not helped by soprano Anna-Maria Panzarella's rather strident rendering of the critical role of Cidippe; she pushes out notes in a rather loud and unattractive way at various spots.

Certainly there is plenty of good French Baroque opera that awaits revival, perhaps even among the remaining operatic works of Desmarest, though sadly there is little else left of it to choose from. Desmarest's strongest contribution, though, seems to have been in sacred music, specifically in the form of the grand motet and in works mostly written after his forced departure from Paris. Those strongly devoted to Desmarest's might not be disappointed by Venus & Adonis, but others considering it based on qualities exhibited by Armida Abbondata might safely pass. However, one is inclined to encourage the research departments of the major movie studios to obtain it -- we might get that costume drama just yet. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis

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