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Jean-Philippe Rameau: Zaïs / Hasnaa Bennani, Amel Brahim-Djelloul, Sandrine Piau, Christoph Prégardien, Zachary Wilder, Benoît Arnould, Aimery Lefèvre. Les Talens Lyriques, Rousset

Notes & Reviews:

In 1745, King Louis XV granted Jean-Philippe Rameau the post of Composer du cabinet du roy. During this period, he composed some lighter works, in collaboration with librettist Louis de Cahusac that went on to become some of his most important masterpieces. One of them was Zaïs, first performed in 1748 on the stage of the Académie Royale de Musique. The plot revolves around a lover (Zaïs) putting his beloved (Zélidie) to the test in order to cherish her all the more. One of Rameau's leading champions, Christophe Rousset, leads Les Talens Lyriques in a definitive performance of this ballet-héroïque.

American Record Guide, March/April 2016
As one would expect of Rousset, everything is done to stylistic perfection here, by singers who have this idiom in their bones. Pau is the best-known singer, and she gives a winning performance as the much-tried heroine. Pregardien has an ideal light tenor for his role, and his interactions and duets with Piau are quite beautiful. The other singers are all wonderful in their parts, large or small. The chorus is sonorous - by now the best of its kind in such literature. The period orchestra sounds rich and colorful. The recording, made in actual performances in November 2014, is handsomely vivid. The book-like album contains the full libretto with English translation. A superlative production in every way, and a wonderful addition to the swelling Rameau discography.


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