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|"I enjoyed this enormously..."||
Outil de traduction (Très approximatif)
The music is top-notch, and Michel Fau has done a splendid job in putting the drama across. The set by Emmanuel Charles includes side boxes occupied by the chorus; varying backdrops evoke the 18th century with clouds, waves, a pillared hall. The singers are exotically dressed by David Belugou, Dardanus sporting a red plumed helmet, his enemy Anténor a green one; both have whitened faces with rouge spots. The chorus wear wigs, the dancers – and there are a lot of dances in the divertissements, choreographed by Christopher Williams – also bewigged when not masked or helmeted.
The Prologue introduces Venus and Cupid in a chariot above an arch. Karina Gauvin, praised by Pichon for her ‘physique gourmand “à la Poussin”’, looks splendid in pink and red, and dispatches Venus’s ‘Quand l’aquilon fougueux’ as though it were by Vivaldi. Katherine Watson, with wings to rival the Archangel Gabriel’s, makes a charming Cupid. Act 1 begins with Gaëlle Arquez as Iphise – the sole survivor of Pichon’s 1744 recording – delivering an impassioned ‘Cesse, cruel Amour’. She finds more vulnerability when lamenting Dardanus’s captivity in ‘Ô jour affreux!’ Her father and her suitor, Teucer and Anténor, are superbly well done by Nahuel di Pierro and Florian Sempey, the latter’s pianissimo in the reprise of ‘Monstre affreux’ touching in the extreme. Reinoud Van Mechelen rises to the challenge of the bassoon-flecked melancholy of ‘Lieux funestes’ and makes a credible hero,
In praise of
the rest of the performers I would just cite the bouncy ‘Paix favorable’
(adapted from Rameau’s harpsichord piece Les Niais de Sologne) and the
exquisite phrasing of the following minuet. Raphaël Pichon conducts admirably. I
enjoyed this enormously and so, I hope, will you.
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