Florian Sempey baritone, Les musiciens du Louvre, Marc Minkowski
Château de Versailles Spectacles CVS062
‘Nouvelle’ in the sense that this is a new compilation (and newly recorded – not extracts from the back catalogue) of extracts from Rameau’s dramatic works. And it has been done in an imaginative way, not simply lumping together all the dances from one opera and calling them a suite. We begin and end in Castor et Pollux, there are five items from Les Indes Galantes and we briefly visit another six works, including the less well-known Acante et Céphise (its firework display – literally – of an overture and two other items). The orchestra is of a generous size (three double basses) and plays with brilliance and enthusiasm, and, rather to this writer’s relief, we are spared speculative percussion contributions.
A striking feature of the programme is the inclusion of a few vocal items sung by baritone Florian Sempey with a blend of sweetness and nobility.
Finally, the booklet (in French, English and German) is informative, though I do prefer it when the essays are grouped by language rather than title.