Notes & Reviews:
Following on the international success of their recording of Lully's Bellérophon, Christophe Rousset and his ensemble Les Talens Lyriques present Hercule mourant (Hercules Dying) - an undiscovered operatic treasure by Antoine Dauvergne. When Francoeur and Rebel took over as directors of the Académie Royale de Musique (the Paris Opéra) in 1757, they decided to promote some of the new generation of composers. Among them was Dauvergne, who appears to have enjoyed great favor at that time. Premiered in 1762, Hercule mourant was a success, receiving eighteen performances. The opera's libretto, written by Jean-François Marmontel, extended the scope of French opera: he was the first to have the courage to bring opera closer to the great spectacles of ancient Greece. Inspired and guided by Marmontel's libretto, Dauvergne clearly aimed to take the genre in a completely new direction, anticipating the Romantic model for opera that was born with Gluck, while at the same time giving one of the last tributes to the great French tragédie lyrique tradition inherited from Lully.
Les Talens Lyriques are among the most stylish of Baroque ensembles, while Rousset himself is an exquisite performer.
American Record Guide, May/June 2013
Hercule Mourant (Hercules Dying) dates from 1761, an early example of the composer's continuation of the French tradition of the Tragedie-lyrique. Its libretto, based on Sophocles's Trachiniae plus a 17th Century French drama. The others are just fine, and Rousset leads his forces in robust accompaniment.
Recording information: L'Opéra Royal de Versailles (11/19/2011).
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Works DetailsDauvergne, Antoine : Hercule Mourant, opera in 5 acts
- Conductor: Christophe Rousset
- Ensemble: Les Talens Lyriques
- Running Time: 2 min. 32 sec.
- Period Time: Classical
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1761