Alcyone by Marais

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lennygoran
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Alcyone by Marais

Post by lennygoran » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:57 am

A NY Times clip shows a little of the Royal Opera of Versailles's revival of Alcyone by Marais last performed 246 years ago.--don't know if you'll be able to see it without logging in? Regards, Len :lol:


https://www.nytimes.com/video/world/eur ... ic-reviews

jbuck919
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Re: Alcyone by Marais

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:24 pm

No doubt to be followed by Alcytwo and Alcythree. (OK, time to ban Brosseau.)

There is a movie about Marin Marais. I saw it a long time ago and do not remember that much, but I do remember liking it and would watch it again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tous_les_Matins_du_Monde

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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maestrob
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Re: Alcyone by Marais

Post by maestrob » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:44 pm

Yes, John, I have that film on DVD. There was quite a lot of buzz about it when it came out, and it was shown multiple times on HBO: an excellent movie.

Marais was the composer of "The Bells of St. Genevieve," IIRC.

Modernistfan
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Re: Alcyone by Marais

Post by Modernistfan » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:48 am

This motivated me to find the now out-of-print recording of Alcyone made by Marc Minkowski about 25 years ago. (Believe it or not, one of my interests is French baroque opera.) I finally got it on Amazon; definitely worth listening to if you can find it (I bought the only reasonably priced copy on Amazon, sorry).

Belle
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Re: Alcyone by Marais

Post by Belle » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:45 pm

Modernistfan wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:48 am
This motivated me to find the now out-of-print recording of Alcyone made by Marc Minkowski about 25 years ago. (Believe it or not, one of my interests is French baroque opera.) I finally got it on Amazon; definitely worth listening to if you can find it (I bought the only reasonably priced copy on Amazon, sorry).
I'm presenting a program to our music group next year on French baroque opera, mainly concentrating on Rameau, but starting with Lully. I love this wonderful, elegant music!!

lennygoran
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Re: Alcyone by Marais

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:00 pm

Belle wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:45 pm
I'm presenting a program to our music group next year on French baroque opera, mainly concentrating on Rameau, but starting with Lully. I love this wonderful, elegant music!!
Belle in 2011 we saw this from Lully at BAM-it was just wonderful! Regards, Len


It’s Not Easy to Be a Goddess’s Boy Toy

By ALLAN KOZINN SEPT. 19, 2011


When William Christie and Les Arts Florissants presented Lully’s “Atys” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the first time, in 1989, it was as if a curtain had been pulled aside to reveal an alternative operatic universe. The work was so different in sound, spirit and look from the 19th-century Italian operas that dominate the mainstream opera world that it seemed almost a different art form.

Sure, everyone knew that French Baroque opera was staged with greater opulence, sung with a distinctive suaveness and packed with courtly dance, but seeing what that meant, by way of a 1676 work known to be a favorite of Louis XIV, hammered home its differences and made lots of converts. Since then Mr. Christie and company have returned with similarly revelatory productions of other works, but that 1989 “Atys” (and a revival in 1992) has retained its place on my own list of favorite musical experiences.

Thanks to a $3.1 million gift from Ronald P. Stanton, a businessman and philanthropist who feels similarly about the production, the academy brought back “Atys” to open its 150th-anniversary season on Sunday afternoon. The staging, by Jean-Marie Villégier, is unchanged, though Carlo Tommasi’s set (a single, full-stage room with black and gray marble walls) and most of Patrice Cauchetier’s ornate costumes and wigs (mostly Sun King chic with variations to suggest mythological times) have been freshly remade.

“Atys,” with its libretto by Philippe Quinault, is based on Ovid’s tale of love between mortals and gods gone awry. Atys, supposedly indifferent to love, has fallen for Sangaride, who is about to marry Célénus, the King of Phrygia, and though Sangaride sees the benefits of the match, she loves Atys. The goddess Cybèle loves Atys too, and chooses him as her sacrificer, an office he abuses to break off the betrothal of Sangaride and Célénus. But as Cybèle warned Atys in an elaborate dream sequence, crossing the gods is unwise, and the final act is devoted to her revenge (and remorse).

The opera, four hours long, is a stunning piece of theater, largely because Mr. Christie’s expertise in 17th-century French style, with its distinctive pacing and coloration, brings it so fully and vividly to life. Les Arts Florissants sounded as polished and flexible as ever, but the most striking aspect of the performance was the approach that Mr. Christie had his singers take.

The production’s monumental aspects notwithstanding, this “Atys” is sung almost as chamber opera, or at least closer to what you hear in a relatively small house like Glyndebourne than at the Metropolitan Opera. From the top of the cast to the bottom, there was no forcing, no outsize projection. You had the feeling, illusory or not, that the singers were performing at speaking volume; in fact, the pianissimo passages that propelled Anna Reinhold’s portrayal of Cybèle, particularly in the final act, were among the production’s most thoroughly moving moments, and you did not have to strain to hear them.

Ed Lyon’s portrayal of Atys, in the first three acts, had a deer-in-the-headlights quality that convincingly conveyed his character’s confused loyalties and amorous desperation. And he captured Atys’s moment of decisive boldness (and his undoing), in the fourth act, with equal success. He used his tenor to fine effect throughout, mirroring Atys’s tragic evolution in his vocal characterization.

Emmanuelle de Negri, a soprano, matched that progression perfectly as Sangaride, and the interesting, sometimes gruff, texture of Nicolas Rivenq’s bass-baritone suited both the regal and outraged sides of Célénus’s music.

“Atys” has a huge cast of supporting characters, some played by young singers in Mr. Christie’s Jardin des Voix training program. Most also contributed to the lustrous choruses that are among this work’s joys. And the Compagnie Fêtes Galantes executed the plentiful choreography by Francine Lancelot and Béatrice Massin with an elegance that was consistently riveting.




http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/arts/ ... eview.html

Belle
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Re: Alcyone by Marais

Post by Belle » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:34 am

Absolutely love it and the work of Dr. Christie generally. I think he's retired now as there seem to be new faces in Les Arts. I'll have my music group enthusiastic for more French baroque opera by this time next year. Len, you've got great taste!! Len the CMG epicure!!

I love this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OI6Dtiti6E

lennygoran
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Re: Alcyone by Marais

Post by lennygoran » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:22 am

Belle thanks for the link-would love to see this opera live sometime. Regards, Len

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Re: Alcyone by Marais

Post by Lance » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:17 pm

One wonders why recordings such as this are allowed to go out of print. It is one I DO NOT HAVE, and wish I did, but not for the asking prices via Internet!
Lance G. Hill
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