A five disc compilation of French musician Jean-Michel Jarre. Includes albums such as "Oxygene" (1976), "The Concerts In China" (1982), "Chronology" (1993), "Metamorphoses" (2000).
This stunning and generous collection belongs right at the top of the heap in its respective repertoire. The Debussy is still a comparative rarity in concert if not on disc, a remarkable fact given that it's wholly gorgeous from first note to last. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's excellence as a Debussy pianist already has been acknowledged by just about everyone who has heard him, and needs no further advertisement here. The performance is outstanding, sensitive to every nuance, but also very French in its clear-eyed sensibility and understanding that focused rhythm and supple tempos prevent the music from turning excessively sentimental or blandly pretty. And in Tortelier, Bavouzet has a conductor who seconds him every step of the way. A similar sensibility informs these swift, razor-sharp, and utterly thrilling accounts of the two Ravel concertos. That for the left hand seldom has sounded so exciting, or in its jazzy central march section, so sinister. Listen to the bite that both soloist and orchestra bring to that descending scale theme, and notice the way Bavouzet shapes his cadenza so as to preserve the illusion of multiple parts played by multiple hands–all without slowing down at the tough passages. It's really an amazing performance by any standard. Even the dark opening, often merely murky on other recordings, has shape and urgency, the buildup to the initial entry of the piano creating incredible tension.
Antonio Vivaldi's probably early Nisi Dominus, RV 608, and Stabat Mater, RV 621, both for solo voice and ensemble, have received several top-notch recordings, so the listener can pick on the basis of voice type and stylistic preference. Countertenor David Daniels has essayed the pair with Fabio Biondi and his Europa Galante ensemble, and you can hear the preternaturally rich contralto Sara Mingardo in a reading with the fiery Italian Baroque specialist Rinaldo Alessandrini. Here you get a countertenor, Philippe Jaroussky, in the Nisi Dominus and a female contralto, Canadian Marie-Nicole Lemieux, in the Stabat Mater. The pairing robs the whole of unity at one level, but makes musical sense; the Nisi Dominus is a more athletic work that benefits from the power of the male voice, while the Stabat Mater, especially in Vivaldi's truncated and highly dramatic setting, may require the audience to identify with a female singer.
Nicola Porpora was a Napolitan composer of Baroque operas and singing teacher, whose the most famous singing student was the castrato Farinelli. Besides some four dozen operas, there are oratorios, solo cantatas with keyboard accompaniment, motets and vocal serenades. Among his larger works, his 1720 opera Orlando, his Venetian Vespers, and the opera Arianna in Nasso have been recorded.
Giulio Mazzarino, better known as Cardinal Mazarin, played an important part in the dissemination of Italian music in France in the 17th century. From 1643, when he was appointed prime minister, to his death in 1661, he carried out an astute policy in favour of Italian culture, inviting the most famous Italian composers and performers to the French court. This disc presents a number of pieces, mainly by Italian composers, which became well known in France in the 17th century through Mazarin’s support.
IIn his setting of Orlando, Handel offers us a score of remarkable dramatic power, diversity and originality. Orlando s mad scene and slumber aria are among the composer s most striking creations. Everything in the opera arouses admiration the extremely varied scoring, the exuberant vocal writing, the rhythmic invention and the supple melodies. On this new recording from K617, Jean-Claude Malgoire and La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy are joined by a cast of talented soloists in a fantastic production rivaling the best in the catalog.
Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) stands apart from the legions of Brahms imitators and conservative late Romantics for one thing: melody. It seeps from every theme and cadence. Everything I've heard from his pen is overflowing with inventive tunefulness. It is no wonder he enjoyed a close friendship with another great melodist of his day, Edvard Grieg. Röntgen's enormous output includes 14 cello sonatas, many of which were dedicated to and performed by Pablo Casals.
Assimil applique dans ses méthodes un principe exclusif, très simple mais efficace, l'assimilation intuitive. Ce principe reprend, en l'adaptant, le processus naturel grâce auquel chacun d'entre nous a appris sa langue maternelle. Très progressivement, au moyen de dialogues vivants, de notes simples et d'exercices, Assimil vous amène au niveau de la conversation courante. …