Like olives, artichokes, and more essentially and problematically, anchovies, Patricia Petibon's voice is an acquired taste. She is a high coloratura (up to E-flat), her technique is formidable, capable of great floridity and very fine breath control, she sings mostly without vibrato, and the tone can be so diamond-brilliant that it can grate, although for darker dramatic moments she can moderate the shine.
Marc Minkowski was one of the most promising conductors to emerge in the 1990s, having carved out a niche for himself (and his hand-picked ensemble, Les Musiciens du Louvre) in the lesser-known works of the French and Italian Baroque. In the competitive fields of early music and historical performance, he has garnered considerable critical acclaim and managed to bring works of relative obscurity to the attention of wider audiences.
John Eliot Gardiner has proved himself a doughty champion of the later French Baroque, cultivating credible performing methods and unearthing undeservedly neglected repertoire. These nine CDs offer both rich musical rewards and an insight into developing approaches to interpretation. The earliest repertoire in the set is the volume of Francois Couperin's 'apotheoses' of Lully and Corelli, a sensual and programmatic feast in which this charmingly didactic composer attempts to reconcile the best of French and Italian taste.
The years from 1670 to 1673 mark one of those crossroads at which history in general, and the history of art in particular, sometimes judiciously brings together just the right combination of people, events and even instruments. In fact, the events of those years were to have major consequences, not only for the future of French music, but also, to a certain extent, for Western music as a whole.
L’histoire entre Les talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset et Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) est l’histoire d’une réussite. Les sept disques (Persée, Roland, Armide, Amadis, Phaéton, Bellérophon et cet Alceste) du compositeur d'origine italienne naturalisé français enregistrés par l’ensemble et le chef et claveciniste Français sont tous un véritable succès critique. En quelques années, Les talens Lyriques et Christophe Rousset sont passés maître du style et de l’écriture Lulliste au point d’être devenus un (le ?) véritable intournable du genre.
acques‐Martin Hotteterre was a virtuoso recorder player at the court of Louis XIV the Sun King, in the distinguished position of Musicien de la Chambre du Roi. He was a famous composer as well, mainly for his own instrument, for which he wrote numerous works, in which he integrated Italian elements, such as instrumental brilliance and prevalence for longer melodic lines, in the courtly French style of dance forms and lavish ornamentation.