RAMEAU-MINKOWSKI: Une Symphonie Imaginaire — Les Musiciens du Louvre/ Marc Minkowski —DGG Archiv

by | Sep 13, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

RAMEAU-MINKOWSKI: Une Symphonie Imaginaire — Les Musiciens du
Louvre/ Marc Minkowski —DGG Archiv multichannel SACD 00289 477 5578,
56:25 ****:

Jean-Philippe Rameau is recognized as the greatest orchestral composer
in France prior to Berlioz, even though everything he ever wrote was
for stage performancs with vocalists.  Other composers of the time
were beginning to develop the French symphony but Rameau never wrote
for the orchestra alone. So Marc Minkowski and his original instruments
band decided to create an all-Rameau symphonic work of their own — an
imaginary symphony.

They begin with a very dramatic overture which tells of the origin of
the world. Next is a disturbing funeral scene from Rameau’s Castor et
Pollux. The made-up work continues with various dances, interludes and
divertissements from many different Rameau works, plus a harpsichord
piece that the composer had already orchestrated himself. The dance
rhythms of some of these pieces are just as infectious as some of
today’s dance music. In those pieces which had a vocal part, it was
simply removed. Minkowski wanted to pay tribute to one of the greatest
masters of the orchestra — an innovator whose achievements stand out in
bolder relief due to the ingenious assembly of his music in this fake
symphony. And the envelopment of the excellent 5.0 surround mix plus
the live recording situation ensure maximum listener involvement.
Remember that “Opera Without Singing” series of symphonic albums? Well,
this is Rameau Without Singing!

— John Sunier

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