Notes & Reviews:
Following on the success of their recording of Lully's Bellerophon, Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques present Phaéton, the eighth tragédie lyrique by Jean-Baptiste Lully and his faithful librettist, Philippe Quinault. It is truly one of their most remarkable creations. First performed in 1683, it proved so popular that it was referred to as the "opera of the people." It portrays the story of a young man's temerity in wishing to drive the chariot of his father, the sun god, and the son's inevitable downfall. It both presents a moral lesson and also served the image of the king. Just as Jupiter restores order in the opera, Louis XIV brought peace to Europe, promising his people a Golden Age.
American Record Guide, May/June 2014
Phaeton, first performed in 1683, was Lully's 11th opera, and his sixth using a libretto by Philippe Quinault, his most consistent collaborator. Quinault particularly favored Ovid's Metamorphoses as a source for his stories, as in this case. Rousset herewith offers us the second recording of this work. It was recorded in a public performance in October 2012. One would expect from him a fine team of singers, and that is certainly what we get. They are all excellent: strong, well-trained voices, with fine stylistic sensitivities and expressive capacities. The chorus and orchestra are superb. The sound is excellent, and the book-style album includes good notes and full libretto in French and English. I would award preference to Rousset's. It is an important and most satisfying contribution to the Lully revival.
Recording information: Salle Pleyel, Paris (10/25/2012).
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Works DetailsLully, Jean-Baptiste : Phaëton, opera, LWV 61
- Conductor: Christophe Rousset
- Ensemble: Namur Chamber Choir
- Running Time: 79 min. 24 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque
- Form: Opera/Operetta