Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Rameau, Leonhardt, Elwes|
Listen to Samples
The Flemish way with Rameau
Jason Hurd | San Francisco, California | 03/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is without a doubt the loveliest, most seductive recording of a Rameau opera-ballet to date. There is something indescribable about the playing of Rameau's music by musicians of the Low Countries that brings out the erotic languor of the writing like no other nationality, and I don't know quite why this should be. I suppose one could blather on about linguistic differences and their effect on musical approaches, etc. I only know that when Messrs. Kuijken, Leonhardt, Bruggen et al. are at the helm for a Rameau performance, the music has a swoon-making quality similar to that of Debussy. This quality is conspicuously lacking in the recordings of William Christie and Marc Minkowski, expert and idiomatic though they are. The latter conductors seem to favor a breathless, hard-driven style that shortchanges the gorgeous harmonic changes that need time to register in the ear. The Flemish "Mafia", on the other hand, revel in the sultry harmonies and exotic melodies, wringing out every last drop of heartbreaking beauty from the music. This is not to say that their tempi are slow or indulgent; just that their overall approach makes for a richer, more kaleidoscopic effect, and this suits Rameau to a T. The singing is not all it could be; Rachel Yakar is the fourth of the four soloists to be heard, and when she enters her firm voice and sure sense of style and intonation put the other three to shame. Not for nothing is she the head of vocal pedagogy at the esteemed Paris Conservatoire! However, this lack is more than made up for by the afore-mentioned lush and inviting approach to this most beautiful of the master's Opera-ballets."
Clark Anthony | Switzerland | 10/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The fact that there is only one review so far suggests that this music may not be too well known. Well whatever your view of Rameau to date, I strongly urge you to acquire this recording, which is terrific stuff, up there with the very best of baroque music. I found it by chance and am very glad I did. The first reviewer is quite right in all he claims. I merely endorse his recommendation."