Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Anne Sofie von Otter|
Ombre De Mon Amant- French Baroque Arias
Ombre de mon amant is Anne Sofie von Otter's first recording of these French Baroque Arias--graceful, temperamental tunes which will delight her fans and thrill Baroque music cognoscenti. Von Otter's mastery of diverse mus... more »
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Ombre de mon amant is Anne Sofie von Otter's first recording of these French Baroque Arias--graceful, temperamental tunes which will delight her fans and thrill Baroque music cognoscenti. Von Otter's mastery of diverse musical genres, crystalline diction and exquisite musicality empower her interpretations of French repertoire. Her celebrated Offenbach album and album of rarities by Chaminade are previous examples of her success in the French repertory. Every bit a woman of the theater as she is of song, von Otter embodies Charpentier's Médée and Rameau's Phèdre in Hippolyte et Aricie in the grand manner in which they were surely performed originally. Von Otter is partnered by William Christie and his matchless ensemble, Les Arts Florissants, who bring exuberant energy and theatrical flair to every track. The Guardian commented: "Her Médée [...] was a thing of wonder. Keeping us to the right side of empathy, von Otter dragged us with her into utter monstrosity, unleashing hell with the most exquisite of pianissimos and suggesting vortices of emotion beneath the calm, controlled surface."
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Here's My Chance! ...
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 03/30/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"... to prove that I don't give an automatic knee-jerk five star review to every new "historically informed" performance of Baroque and earlier repertoire! Honestly, I don't see the point of extracting 'arias' from French baroque operas. Italian Baroque, yes, because the strength (and the weakness) of Italian baroque is the focus on the display of virtuosity in each aria and the self-contained tableau vivant of one specific mood or emotion. The arias of French opera are less self-defining; the opera is more unified by and behind its text. Snipped out of their textual context, to my ears these arias sound like so many notes, and no amount of vocal 'passion' can make them vivid.
Anna Sofie van Otter can't be said to lack vocal passion. In fact, she 'over-sings' these arias rather painfully in her effort to make them distinctive. Though her range is lower, she sounds at times distressingly like Joan Sutherland in her later years. That's one of the cruelest things I could say about a soprano. Her tuning isn't so good, either, probably because of the stress she couches her phrases in.
And Bill Christie soldiers on. I can't tell, really, whether he sounds 'tired' here, or whether the fragmentation of the music deprives it of its vitality, but the resulting performance is simply boring."
Reasonable but not as essential as I hoped
Steven Guy | Croydon, South Australia | 06/06/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The orchestra and choir are marvellous of course and all the music is great. I love French Baroque music and it is still poorly represented on CD, particularly French Baroque opera. By comparison, every month a new Handel recording seems to be issued - while many of the operas of Lully, Rameau, Campra and other French composers continue to languish on the printed page in university libraries and museums. Even the operas of Vivaldi are getting a better deal than those of Rameau, for instance. So every CD that promotes the French repertoire is welcomed by people like me.
Anne Sofie von Otter's contribution to Early Music has been both sustained and substantial. However, I found her performances here slightly over-wrought and not as convincing as those on similar recitals by Patricia Petibon, Véronique Gens and Carolyn Sampson. Her voice seems a little to "heavy" for some of the material and she doesn't strike me as a "natural" in this repertoire.
The orchestral movements, as previously mentioned, are superb as one would expect from Les Arts Florissants, but I already have most of them on other recordings of the complete operas or on discs of suites from the operas.
A sampler, perhaps, for someone new to French Baroque operas, but I would strongly recommend Patricia Petibon's marvellous "Virtuoso French Baroque Opera Arias", recorded earlier this decade, on the VIRGIN label instead. Petibon's selection is better and the whole CD hangs together in a much more satisfying and logical manner.