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Reviews: Rameau: Une symphonie imaginaire - Minkowski

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Site review by Castor June 12, 2005
Performance:   Sonics:    
Rameau did not write any purely orchestral music, so ‘une symphonie imaginaire’ that Marc Minkowski has created is really an extended suite of orchestral pieces taken from Rameau’s stage works and other compositions.The result is a triumph, and hearing this SACD makes one agree with the statement in the booklet that Rameau was "one of the greatest masters of the orchestra ever to have walked this earth".

Before even the first note of music begins one is aware of the ambience of the hall and this recording benefits from the excellent acoustic of the Théâtre de Poissy, Salle Molière where it was made. This is a live recording, but throughout there is almost no audible presence of an audience.

The first item is the spectacular overture to Zaïs - Pastorale héroïque, which begins with deep drum beats and depicts "the disentangling of Chaos and the shock felt by the elements as they are distilled". This is followed by 16 more, well contrasted, items taken from such works as Les Boréades, Les Indes galantes, Castor et Pollux etc. There is even a new orchestral arrangement of ‘La Poule’, familiar from its appearance in Respighi’s ‘The Birds’.

The playing of Les Musiciens du Louvre is outstanding throughout and the varied orchestrations ensure that there are never any dull moments.

DGG’s recording (PCM 48kHz/24 Bit) is excellent for both clarity and atmosphere, especially in MC. I found the whole disc to be exhilarating and riveting from start to finish and give it a firm recommendation.

Copyright © 2005 Graham Williams and

Review by Fredje June 23, 2005 (2 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This Marc Minkowski’s creation based on Rameau’s ballets and opera pieces played on authentic instruments by Les Musiciens du Louvre is a true enchantment for any baroque music lovers.

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