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Hervé Niquet: Grétry – Richard Cœur de Lion (24/88 FLAC)

Hervé Niquet: Grétry - Richard Cœur de Lion (24/88 FLAC)

Hervé Niquet: Grétry – Richard Cœur de Lion (24/88 FLAC)

Composer: André Ernest Modeste Gretry
Performer: Le Concert Spirituel, Enguerrand Hys, Agathe Boudet, Cécile Achille, Marie Perbost, Melody Louledjian, Jean-Gabriel Saint-Martin, François Pardailhé, Geoffroy Buffière, Reinoud Van Mechelen
Conductor: Hervé Niquet
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Château de Versailles Spectacles
Catalogue: CVS028
Release: 2020
Size: 1.33 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Richard Cœur de lion
Acte I
01. I. Ouverture et Introduction
02. II. Un peu plus vite, “Chantons célébrons ce bon ménage”
03. III. Plus lent, “Comment ! C’est demain que le vieux Mathurin…”
04. IV. Air de Blondel, “La danse n’est pas ce que j’aime”
05. V. Air, “Ô Richard, Ô mon Roi !”
06. VI. Morceau d’ensemble, “Quoi, de la part du gouverneur”
07. VII. Air de Laurette, “Je crains de lui parler la”
08. VIII. Chanson, “Un bandeau couvre les yeux du dieu”
09. IX. Orchestre
10. X. Chanson, “Que le sultan Saladin rassemble dans son jardin”

Acte II
11. I. Ronde de Nuit
12. II. Air de Richard, “Si l’univers entier m’oublie”
13. III. Duo, “Une fièvre brûlante un jour me terrassait”
14. IV. Chœur de Soldats, “Sais-tu, connais-tu”
15. V. Final, “Ah ! Monseigneur”

Acte III
16. I. Trio, “Il faut il faut que je lui parle”
17. II. Morceau d’ensemble, “Oui chevalier, oui ce rempart tient prisonnier le roi Richard”
18. III. Trio, “A Florestan pendant la danse”
19. IV. Ronde et Chœur, “Et zic et zic et fric et froc”
20. V. On danse, Ballet
21. VI. Contredanse et Air très vif pour valser
22. VII. Chœur, “Que Richard à l’instant soit remis dans nos mains”
23. VIII. Combat
24. IX. Marche noblement

André Grétry’s Richard Coeur de Lion, or Richard the Lionhearted, lay neglected until 2019 when a production by the Opéra Royal de Versailles was mounted. This album is taken from that performance, and it’s very well recorded indeed. The opera was quite well known in its time and was even performed in the young U.S. (in Boston, in 1796), and it’s a great find, a real crowd-pleaser as much today as at the end of the 18th century. The story is based on a probably imaginary tale of an episode during Richard’s return from the Crusades, when he was imprisoned in Linz, Austria. A trouvère singer named Blondel who serves the king realizes his predicament, sneaks into the prison disguised as a blind fiddler, and touches off an action-packed sequence of events with a romance involving the prison governor, a grand party, and a visiting Flemish countess whose troops rescue Richard in the end. The action allows Grétry to serve up some lovely tunes, a battle scene, and, best of all, a series of rhythmically subtle dances that will hold any listener’s attention. The cast of singers catches the dimensions of the work perfectly, putting the text across and adapting itself to the idea of conductor Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel that thinking of the work as something like a Broadway musical will bring good results. This is certainly a specialist release, but it’s one that should find an enthusiastic audience beyond those concerned with French opera of the late 18th century.

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