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Rameau: Dardanus and Le Temple de la Glorire, instrumental music.

Rameau: Dardanus and Le Temple de la Glorire, instrumental music. Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. CBC SMCD 5229.

Jean Philippe Rameau is the eighteenth-century French composer who took up music late in life and turned the operatic world upside down with his then-revolutionary ideas. His first opera, Hippolyte et Aricie, was greeted with scepticism in some circles but came to eventual acceptance. By the time the two operas represented on this disc, Dardanus and Le Temple de la Glorire, rolled around, the composer was well established.

What we have here are not the complete operas, of course, but a selection of instrumental music from the operas, suites if you will, compiled by Jeanne Lamon and her Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. The individual pieces comprise overtures, airs, minuets, gigues, gavottes, and the like, and they represent a fair sampling of Rameau's many varied moods and styles. Needless to say, Tafelmusik play them with their usual efficient refinement.

Ms. Lamon's switch a few years ago from Sony Classical to CBC Records (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) may or may not have financially benefited Tafelmusik, but it certainly benefits the listener because her recordings for CBC have sounded consistently better. The sonics are crisp, open, clean, and entirely natural. Indeed, the quality of the recording rivals my longtime favorite Rameau recording of Hippolyte et Aricie with La Petite Bande on EMI Deutsche Harmonia Mundi. It's that good.
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Publication:Sensible Sound
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:231
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