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Jean-Philippe Rameau – Castor Et Pollux

Jean-Philippe Rameau – Castor Et Pollux

About the Opera:
Castor et Pollux (Castor and Pollux) is an opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau, first performed on 24 October 1737 at the Académie royale de musique in Paris. The librettist was Pierre-Joseph-Justin Bernard, whose reputation as a salon poet it made.  This was the third opera by Rameau and his second in the form of the tragédie en musique (if the lost Samson is discounted).  Rameau made substantial cuts, alterations and added new material to the opera for its revival in 1754. Experts still dispute which of the two versions is superior. Whatever the case, Castor et Pollux has always been regarded as one of Rameau’s finest works. (The version presented here is the revised one from 1754).
Castor et Pollux appeared in 1737 while the controversy ignited by Rameau’s first opera Hippolyte et Aricie was still raging.  Conservative critics held the works of the “father of French opera”, Jean-Baptiste Lully, to be unsurpassable.  They saw Rameau’s radical musical innovations as an attack on all they held dear and a war of words broke out between these Lullistes and the supporters of the new composer, the so-called Rameauneurs.  This controversy ensured that the premiere of Castor would be a noteworthy event. As it turned out, the opera was a success.  It received twenty performances in late 1737 but did not reappear until the sustantially revised version took to the stage in 1754. This time there were thirty performances and ten in 1755. Graham Sadler writes that “It was […] Castor et Pollux that was regarded as Rameau’s crowning achievement, at least from the time of its first revival (1754) onwards.” Revivals followed in 1764, 1765, 1772, 1773, 1778, 1779 and 1780.  The taste for Rameau’s operas did not long outlive the French Revolution but extracts from Castor et Pollux were still being performed in Paris as late as 1792.  During the nineteenth century, the work did not appear on the French stage, though its fame survived the general obscurity into which Rameau’s works had sunk; Hector Berlioz admiringly mentioned the aria Tristes apprêts.  The first modern revival took place at the Schola Cantorum in Paris in 1903.  Among the audience was Claude Debussy.

Track List:
cd1
01. Acte 1 – Ritournelle (2:50)
02. Acte 1 – L’hymrn couronne votre soeur (3:47)
03. Acte 1 – Éclatez, mes justes regrests (2:41)
04. Acte 1 – Ah!, je mourrai content (3:32)
05. Acte 1 – Non, demeure, Castor (1:52)
06. Acte 1 – Chantons l’éclatante victoire (2:07)
07. Acte 1 – Menuets I & II (3:49)
08. Acte 1 – Quel bonheur règne dans mon âme (3:21)
09. Acte 1 – Gavotes I & II (3:36)
10. Acte 1 – Quitez ces jeux (1:54)
11. Acte 1 – Entracte-Bruit de guerre (0:57)
12. Acte 2 – Que tout gémise, que tout s’unisse (3:27)
13. Acte 2 – Tristes apprêts, pâles flambeaux (4:39)
14. Acte 2 – Cruelle, en quels lieux venez-vous (1:37)
15. Acte 2 – Marche fière (0:58)
16. Acte 2 – Peuples, cessez de soupirer (2:24)
17. Acte 2 – Princesse, un telle victoire (1:57)
18. Acte 2 – Airs pour les athlètes (3:17)
19. Acte 2 – Eclatez, fières trompettes (3:38)
20. Acte 2 – Airs I & II (2:08)
21. Acte 3 – Présent des Dieux, doux charmes des humains (2:48)
22. Acte 3 – Le souverain des Dieux (1:57)
23. Acte 3 – Ma voix, puissant maître du monde (2:22)
24. Acte 3 – Ah, laisse-moi percer jusques aux sombres bords (3:10)
25. Acte 3 – Pouvez-vous nous méconnaître (2:32)
cd2
01. Acte 3 – Tout ‘èlat de l?Olympe est en vain ranimé (1:25)
02. Acte 3 – Voicxi des Dieux l’asile aimable (3:29)
03. Acte 3 – Que nos jeux comblent nous voeux (3:04)
04. Acte 3 – Gavottes I & II (2:18)
05. Acte 3 – Quand je romps vos aimables chaînes (0:33)
06. Acte 4 – Esprits, soutiens de mon puvoir (2:08)
07. Acte 4 – Phoebe, tu fais de vains efforts (1:34)
08. Acte 4 – Rentrez, rentrez dans l’esclavage (2:04)
09. Acte 4 – Brisons tous nos fers (3:30)
10. Acte 4 – 2ème air des Démons (0:40)
11. Acte 4 – O ciel, tout cède à sa valeur (1:04)
12. Acte 4 – Sejour de l’éternelle paix (3:48)
13. Acte 4 – Qu’il soit hereux comme nous (3:40)
14. Acte 4 – Sour les Omgres fugitives (2:35)
15. Acte 4 – Dans ces doux asiles (2:47)
16. Acte 4 – Passepìeds I & II (1:21)
17. Acte 4 – Fuyez, fuyez ombres légères (5:25)
18. Acte 4 – Entracte: Rondeau (0:56)
19. Acte 4 – 2ème entracte: Menuet (1:22)
20. Acte 5 – Le ciel est donc touché des plus tendres amours (3:34)
21. Acte 5 – Mais j’entends des cris d’allégresse (1:12)
22. Acte 5 – Peuples, éloignez-vous (1:52)
23. Acte 5 – Qu’ai-je entendu (2:56)
24. Acte 5 – Les destins sont cxontents (2:06)
25. Acte 5 – Palais de ma grandeur, où je dicte mes lois (1:02)
26. Acte 5 – Que le ciel, que la terre et l’onde (10:21)
27. Acte 5 – Gavottes I & II (2:12)

The Artists:

mp3, 320 kbps, DDD, 2 hours 34 minutes. Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4

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