Comédie et Tragédie: Charpentier, Leclair, Rameau

Orchestral music for the theatre
Tempesta di Mare
73:29
Chandos Chaconne CHAN 0810
Charpentier: Suite from Le Malade Imaginaire
Leclair: Suite from Scylla et Glaucus
Rameau: Suite from Les fêtes de Polymnie

Top repertoire here in stylish performances (bar the 16’ foot string sound in the Charpentier and some silly percussion elsewhere). The Leclair (from his only surviving – perhaps, indeed, his only – opera) is absolutely scintillating stuff – well up to Rameau’s heady standard in both musical interest and colourful use of the orchestra. J-PR, however always raises the stakes in one way or another. I’d forgotten about the harmony at the start of Les Fêtes… until it shocked me yet again. What a composer! The booklet tells us what we need to know although it slightly irritates that it does not deal with the music in the order in which we hear it. It’s a shame that there are no plans for Volume 3.

David Hansell