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Charpentier: Acteon; Orphee descendant aux enfers

Album Summary

>Charpentier, Marc-Antoine : Acteon, pastorale for chorus, strings & continuo, H. 481
>Charpentier, Marc-Antoine : Orphee descendant aux enfers, cantata for 3 voices, instruments & continuo, H. 471
>Charpentier, Marc-Antoine : La pierre philosophale, incidental music, H. 501
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

During recent years CPO's recordings of the baroque operas 'Ariadne' by Conradi and 'Thésée' and 'Psyché' by Lully have received Grammy nominations in the Best Opera Production category. This month, again in cooperation with the Boston Early Music Festival, CPO is releasing more baroque operas - this time by Marc Antoine Charpentier - proving to be no less diverse and entertaining. The focus is formed by Charpentier's 'Actéon', a creation inspired by the Italian cantata and the precursor of its French counterpart, which would first reach maturity in the early eighteenth century. Here the French composer employs what he learned from his Italian teacher Giacomo Carissimi toward the goal of exploring the intimate drama of a cantata intended for private chambers. He skillfully exploits the evocative power of the music and the vocal conventions of the time in order to present scenes displaying the transforming power of love.

"What matters most is that these BEMF performances are first-class and utterly enjoyable. Lovely sound. A very generous booklet is included, with extensive and illuminating essays and complete texts with translations. In all, not to be missed!" -American Record Guide

Gramophone Magazine
[Actéon is] a touching little piece, performed here with spirit and sensitivity..Aaron Sheehan is a light tenor with a rounded, unforced tone that falls very easily on the ear...A must-have recording for admirers of Charpentier's operas.

International Record Review
Aaron Sheehan has a convincing vocal presence as a lusty young man...Teresa Wakim is clearly a Diane who brooks no nonsense...Jason McStoots as Orphée presents a most compelling vocal portrait of a bereaved husband...These are highly commendable performances all round.

The Guardian
It has all of Charpentier's trademark fascination with the dark side of classical mythology...As Actéon, Aaron Sheehan is utterly compelling, whether swooning over Teresa Wakim's imperious Diana or emitting disturbing howls during his metamorphosis...the playing and choral singing are both exquisite.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sendessaal, Bremen (09/28/2009-09/30/2009).



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Works Details

>Charpentier, Marc-Antoine : Actéon, pastorale for chorus, strings & continuo, H. 481
  • Performers: Paul O'Dette (Theorbo); Stephen Stubbs (Theorbo)
  • Notes: Sendessaal, Bremen (09/28/2009-09/30/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1683-1685

>Charpentier, Marc-Antoine : Orphée descendant aux enfers, cantata for 3 voices, instruments & continuo, H. 471
  • Performers: Paul O'Dette (Theorbo); Stephen Stubbs (Theorbo)
  • Notes: Sendessaal, Bremen (09/28/2009-09/30/2009)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1683-1684

>Charpentier, Marc-Antoine : La pierre philosophale, incidental music, H. 501
  • Performers: Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble; Olivier Laquerre (Bass Baritone); Paul O'Dette (Theorbo); Stephen Stubbs (Theorbo)
  • Notes: Sendessaal, Bremen (09/28/2009-09/30/2009)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1681