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Baroque Cantatas at Versailles (Clérambault & Stuck) CD

Baroque Cantatas at Versailles (Clérambault & Stuck) CD

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“... The three works heard are short (the aging Sun King wanted them that way), multi-movement pieces with mythological settings. Two are by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault, the composer most associated with the French cantata. The pieces are not necessarily comic, but they're broadly entertaining (if in some cases apparently allegorical), with a forward-looking style emphasizing melody over polyphony and harmonic artifice. Music like this was the harbinger of the gallant, "natural" aesthetic that dominated French musical thinking over the coming decades. Bass-baritone John Ostendorf is a standout among a group of all-American historically informed performers who deliver lively readings that one can imagine unfolding in the salons of the French palace. The rather puffy classical conventions of the texts are given just the right amount of humorous overacting. The concert-hall sound is rather boxy, with a lack of intimacy that was the norm for its time, and the music has a kind of functional simplicity that the average listener may or may not enjoy. Those trying to put musical sounds to the experience of the paintings at Versailles, or better yet of the place itself, will find this a valuable release. The booklet, including the cantata texts, is in English only."
-James Manheim, All MUSIC GUIDE

“Both the mellow warmth of Fortunato and the hearty bass-baritone of Ostendorf are always a joy to hear, and both show an admirable concern for the words they sing...this program remains very worthwhile.”
-Barker, American Record Guide 3.09

Three elegant French Baroque cantatas by Louis-Nicolas Clerambault and Jean-Baptiste Stuck, composers who worked at the Versailles court of Louis XIV, the Sun King, and his son, Louis XV. Set to mythological and allegorical texts, these lovely vocal works for voice and chamber ensemble are performed by mezzo soprano D'Anna Fortunato and bass-baritone John Ostendorf with Rudolph Palmer conducting the period instrument Brewer Chamber Ensemble. A French-Baroque vocal tour de force by some supremely talented artists at the peak of their powers!

Tracks:

1. "Le soleil vainqueur des nuages: I. Prelude - 1:51
2. "Le soleil vainqueur des nuages: II. Récitatif et L'Air des Persans - 3:52
3. "Le soleil vainqueur des nuages: III. Récitatif sombre et L'Air animé - 4:32
4. "Le soleil vainqueur des nuages: IV. Récitatif accompagne et Fanfares - 5:17
5. "Heraclite et Democrite: I. Récitatif et L'Air plaintif - 3:33
6. "Heraclite et Democrite: II. Récitatif et L'Air de boire - 4:50
7. "Heraclite et Democrite: III. Duo - 1:24
8. "Heraclite et Democrite: IV. Récitatif et L'Air leger - 2:50
9. "Heraclite et Democrite: V. Récitatif et L'Air elegant - 2:59
10. "Heraclite et Democrite: VI. Récitatif a deux et Duo final - 3:35
11. "Leandre et Hero: I. Prelude et L'Air - 4:21
12. "Leandre et Hero: II. Récitatif et L'Air fort tendre - 4:51
13. "Leandre et Hero: III. Récitatif et Tempete - 2:28
14. "Leandre et Hero: IV. Récitatif et L'Air final - 3:38

Additional Information

Read D'Anna Fortunato's bio on Bach Cantatas.com

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