Molière à l’opéra

Stage music by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Les Paladins, Jérôme Correas
72:30
Glossa GCD923509

As one might expect, these ‘bleeding chunks’ are mainly by Lully (extracts from six comédie-ballets), though items from Charpentier’s Le Sicilien  and Le Mariage forcé  are also included. I must say that the singers show great versatility in their ability to convey the essence of their several roles, though bass Virgile Ancely needs a little more weight in the lower register and, as usual for me, the soprano’s vibrato can be disturbing. More disturbing, however, is the use of a questionably disposed chamber ensemble – 2 each of violins and violas with basse de violon  – rather than Lully’s famous orchestra with the three inner parts on assorted violas. I just feel that this rips the guts and/or the grandeur from most of the music: it just isn’t the Lully I know and love and I doubt that he’d have thought much of it either. The booklet offers tri-lingual notes (Fre/Eng/Ger) but the sung French texts are translated into English only.

David Hansell