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Jean-Philippe Rameau: Castor & Pollux / Ainsworth, Sempey, Devieilhe, De Negri, Margaine, Immler. Ensemble Pygmalion, Pichon

Album Summary

>Rameau, Jean-Philippe : Castor et Pollux, tragédie en musique
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Rameau's third opera, Castor & Pollux, was first performed in 1737. It follows the story of twin brothers, the mortal Castor and the immortal Pollux. These famous heroes are both in love with the Princess Telaira but she loves only Castor. When Castor is killed in battle, Pollux, yielding to the pleas of Telaira, journeys to the underworld to take his place. However, Jupiter's divine intervention grants them both immortality. The opera ends as they take their place in the zodiac as the constellation Gemini. Rameau made substantial cuts, alterations and additions to the work for its revival in 1754. Scholars have long argued over which version is superior. On this release, Raphaël Pichon and the Ensemble Pygmalion make a passionate case for the 1754 edition of one of Rameau's finest works.

The Telegraph, 23rd May 2015
The performance under the direction of Raphadl Pichon is excellent: clean, precise, refined and airy, cast with largely Francophone singers who have an instinctive understanding of Rameau's rhythmic vocabulary as well as superb clarity of diction.

Early Music Today, June/August 2015
Pichon uses a responsive, youthful-sounding chorus of 21... along with some excellent orchestral playing.

Gramophone Magazine, July 2015
As usual with Rameau, the dance music is a delight, and it's beautifully played. Another pleasure is the high-quality casting of Philippe Talbot and Sabine Devieilhe in minor roles...[Ainsworth's] voice is still in excellent shape, the top notes light and unforced, while his declaiming of the text sounds free and natural...All in all this is a splendid achievement.

BBC Music Magazine, August 2015
Emmanuelle de Negri delivers a plangent account of TTlanre's Act II lament 'Tristes apprOts'...ClTmentine Margaine is a characterful PhTbT with a powerful, coppery chest voice...Though the Underworld never sounds as terrifying as it does in Hippolyte et Aricie, this is a compelling and polished performance.

Opera, September 2015
Pichon's direction captures admirably both the lyrical fragility of the score and its moments of dramatic intensity, in the process drawing outstanding playing and singing from his Pygmalion sources ... Emanuelle de Negri is a touching, sensitive Telaire, convincingly contrasted with the jealous, mercurial Phebe of Clementine Margaine, whose compelling and strongly projected singing includes impressive chest notes.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Corum, Montpellier (07/2014).


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Works Details

>Rameau, Jean-Philippe : Castor et Pollux, tragédie en musique
  • Conductor: Raphaël Pichon
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Pygmalion
  • Running Time: 39 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1737