Comédie et Tragédie: Charpentier, Leclair, Rameau

Floral design

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

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]op 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