It is now some 12 years since William Christie made an excellent disc of Pancrace Royer's only published collection of harpsichord pieces (1746); and it was reissued recently on CD. Royer was a more prominent figure in French musical life than the comparative unfamiliarity of his name nowadays would suggest. He was an imaginative director of the Concert Spirituel, leader for several years of the Opéra orchestra, and a successful composer for the stage, as well. His ballet-héroIque, Zalde (1739) was especially popular and was still being performed in the 1760s. La Chasse do Zaide is the composer's own harpsichord arrangement of a "symphonie" in the opera and, in this new recital, Christophe Rousset appends it to the pieces of the 1746 publication. That, too, incidently contains a number of transcriptions by the composer of pieces from earlier stage works.
Written in 1797, Cherubini's faithful version of Euripides' ancient tragedy is one of the most savage and powerful works of the opera repertoire, relating the cruel vengeance of a wounded woman for whom infanticide seems to be the only solution to her humiliation in love. As a continuation of Gluck's music, Cherubini's work is of boundless emotion, at once a refined, terrifying and desperate portent of a tragic outcome.
Making full use of Drottningholm Theatre's unique 17th century Baroque theatre machinery, as well as his deep creative understanding of the profound drama of the work, stage director Pierre Audi creates a production of Zoroastre that completely accords with the spirit of Rameau. True to the form of the tragédie lyrique, choreographer Amir Hosseinpour's dances perfectly match the weight and meaning of both plot and music. The ensemble, Les Talens Lyriques, reinforced with musicians from the Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra and Chorus, is expertly and passionately led into the musical stratosphere by musical director Christophe Rousset. This intensely dramatic production is captured live in vibrant High Definition video and true surround sound.
hristophe Rousset's first recording for Aparte, devoted to Louis Couperin, was received enthusiastically by public and critics alike and collected many distinctions in the international press, including a BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Choice. Since then he has continued to delight and excel both as harpsichordist and as director of Les Talens Lyriques. Now at the peak of his maturity, the artist presents Bach' musical testament: the Well-Tempered Clavier. Written 20 years after the first volume, Book II contains the musical and spiritual legacy of the composer. Christophe Rousset plays these pieces on the 1628 Ruckers harpsichord of Antwerp, one of the best examples of its kind in the world.
For Handel’s Serse, Christophe Rousset casted a female singer in the role of Xerxes, which was written for the soprano castrato Caffarelli. Paula Rasmussen is the star in this acclaimed production live from the Semperoper, Dresden, directed for stage by Michael Hampe. Superbly performed under the baton of Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, this is an elegant and charming production with an outstanding cast…
Acclaimed French harpsichord player Christophe Rousset seems to have made only this one CD of Domenico Scarlatti sonatas to date. All but the last 4 sonatas were performed on a single manual Portuguese instrument dating from 1785. It has a silent action, a pungent bass and spicy, rich sonorities right up to the top treble. The other instrument has two manuals and, dating from 1756 England, is closer in time to Scarlatti's own era. Rousset makes good use of the resources the two manuals provide, and accidentally kicks the wooden casing, in K 140. Like most keyboard players who enjoy a challenge, he has a high old time with the frenetic repetitions and hand crossings in K 141 (which M.Argerich did on piano in a famous Youtube video btw)