Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Jean-Baptiste Lully|
Patricia Petibon ~ French baroque arias (Rameau, Lully, Charpentier, Grandval) / Les Folies Françoises, Cohen-Akenin
Genres: Pop, Classical
This program of scenes and arias by Rameau, Charpentier, Lully, and Grandval is well designed to display Patricia Petibon's consummate vocal technique and historically informed artistry. Her florid coloratura, going up to ... more »
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This program of scenes and arias by Rameau, Charpentier, Lully, and Grandval is well designed to display Patricia Petibon's consummate vocal technique and historically informed artistry. Her florid coloratura, going up to high D- and E-flat (in the low period-instrument tuning) is clearly articulated and perfectly in tune. She can change color, nuance, and expression on a single note, and her mastery of the style is complete. She captures the seriousness as well as the humor in Rameau's two cantatas, the sorrow of Jonathan's lamentation in Charpentier's "David and Jonathan," the vacillation between reluctant attraction and furious vengeance in Lully's dramatic scene "Armide," and the rollicking fun in the final tour-de-force, Grandval's "Rien du tout"--a wicked parody of all singers and singing styles. The voice itself takes some getting used to. In keeping with period practice, it is mostly lacking vibrato and so cool and bright as to seem shrill and strident. In the Lully, however, it becomes warmer, darker, and truly expressive. A large group of strings, winds, and percussion supports her splendidly, sometimes with only one or two instruments, sometimes with full orchestral effects that set the stage and underline mood and atmosphere. The musicians come into their own in the numerous instrumental sections, which are played with great verve, rhythmic incisiveness, character, and a wonderful sound. --Edith Eisler
A. Mazon | 11/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of the first opera aria recital CD's that I've ever purchased, and it got me hooked on Baroque opera, French or otherwise. I picked up this record originally because I found the singer very attractive; not the deepest reason, but the MUSIC turned out to be immnesely enjoyable, even if they would've put artwork or a photo of an opera-house on the cover.To begin with, Petibon's voice is beautiful. As the other reviewer(s) put it, it is a cool, vibrato-less voice that might SEEM shrill, but her voice is never unpleasant. In fast or slow pieces, she is always a pleasure to listen to. Besides the sheer beauty of timbre of her voice, her musicanship is incredible: her interpretations are always appropriate, coloring the piece with humor, excitment, sex appeal (especially the Armida piece), anger, you-name-it. Technically she is very impressive, and handles the disc's runs, cascades, top-notes, etc. very well. (This disc is by no means a firweworks display though). The orchestra plays with the same degree of musicianship, technicality and beauty. In some of the Rameaus pieces (especially the march), the instrumental textures really show off the great harmonies and voicings that Rameau is famous for; this disc is a great introduction to the composer's music, I wish she recorded Rameau more often.Finally, the music itself is unique, interesting and entertaining all at the same time. The 2 two excerpts from Lully are not conventional arias, but they display how well the composer was able to blend drama into music. His music is both at the same time, and it soudns cliched but you have to hear it to treally understand it. The piece from Charpentier from "David and Jonathan" is stirring, and shows off what a talented singer and skilled orchestra can do with good music: it is musical, stirring, anguished and not something you will (probably) ever hear at the Met.
A wordy review, but this is one of my favorite records, one that I think everyone who has an intrest in the Baroque period should listen to. If you''re looking for an introduction to this very unique corner of classical music, try this CD."
Delicious singing, gorgeous music... this is a must-have.
Ingrid Heyn | Melbourne, Australia | 04/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fine champagne fizzing from a French goblet... exquisite use of flirtation's fan behind cocquettish eyes... bitter-sweet laments and sighs over love and life... all with unmistakable French style and elegance. This is how Patricia Petibon has conveyed her performances of these fine baroque French arias.As a fellow soprano specialising both in early music and other later classical vocal styles, I am extremely fastidious in my likes and dislikes when it comes to singers. When, therefore, I find a singer whose voice, intelligence and musicality produce ravishing quality like this, I am in alt...In contrast to some of the comments here, I do not find Ms Petibon's voice shrill or white (except when she uses it so deliberately in order to create a particular emotional or stylistic effect). On the contrary, it is of a crystalline purity which she is able to tinge with warmer colours when necessary. I was hugely impressed by this recording, a worthy follow-up to the unbelievably beautiful recording of the Couperin Leçons de tènèbres which was sung by Petibon and Sophie Daneman.What a sense of fun Patricia Petibon has! It's marvellous to hear baroque music performed with such stylish humour and grace, instead of the tediously uninterpreted choir-boy style which is considered by some to be the "correct" way of singing this type of aria. I listened with particular closeness to the arias from "Armide", which I had just performed myself - and was enchanted by Petibon's singing of them. Even though her voice is light in colour, she is perfectly adept at conveying vengeful hatred, despairing love, and a right royal snarling bad humour!The accompanying instruments are taut, graceful, and beautifully recorded. The result is a treat to hear.This CD is most highly recommended by me - and believe me, sopranos are tough critics of each other...!"
I would give this CD seven stars if I could!
Steven Guy | Croydon, South Australia | 04/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The beautiful and talented Patricia Petibon is simply stunning in this recording! If you've never listened to much Baroque opera this would be a great place to start! The music ranges from deeply emotional to whimsical. Petibon sings everything with style, panache, pizzazz and a deep commitment to the music and the composers.
The Baroque orchestra that accompanies her is new to me and they play with great verve. What is so wonderful about this disc is that it is a genuine first - it is, as far as I know, the only disc in existence devoted the arias of Rameau, Lully, Charpentier and Grandval from a single singer. Bored with predictable collections of Opera Seria arias? Fed up with all the collections of the same Handel arias made by various sopranos, mezzos, countertenors, et cetera? Wondering what, exactly, the French were doing while the rest of Europe was worshipping castrati?Well, look no further! You have it all here on this one marvelous CD! Here new 'French Touch' CD (on DECCA) shouldn't be missed either!Long live Patricia Petibon!"