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Donald Macleod’s survey of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s operas comes to Les Indes Galantes, a joyous celebration of singing and dancing.

Donald Macleod’s survey of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s operas comes to Les Indes Galantes, a joyous celebration of singing and dancing.

At his death in 1764, Rameau, by then an octogenarian, had more than 30 stage works to his credit. It’s a remarkable achievement when you consider he produced his first opera at the age of 50. Up to that point, although details about his life are surprisingly patchy, he appears to have held a succession of posts in the provinces, as an organist, teacher and theoretician, seemingly without even a whiff of greasepaint. Then, at an age when one might assume his chosen path was settled, Rameau upped sticks, came back to Paris and conquered the stage with breathtaking speed.
Across the week Donald Macleod focuses on those heady, initial years in the French capital, building a picture of what made Rameau into a highly successful, if controversial, theatrical composer.

Having stirred up a storm with Hippolyte et Aricie, two years later in 1735 Rameau was back in the spotlight with the saucily titled Les Indes Galantes or Love in Exotic Climes. His critics were up in arms all over again. But Rameau had his defences, among them, the protection of a fabulously rich patron.

Les Indes Galantes (suite)
Gavotte qu’on peut jouer sur le clavecin ou sur le violon (Deuxieme concert)
Christophe Rousset, harpsichord

La Pouplinière
Christophe Rousset, harpsichord
Ryo Terakado, violin
Kaori Uemura, viola da gamba

Les Indes Galantes (excerpt)
Les Incas du Pérou
Bernard Delétré, bass Huascar
Isabelle Poulenard, soprano, Phani
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, tenor, Don Carlos
Les Arts Florissants
William Christie, director

Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin
Gavotte
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord

Les Indes Galantes (Suite) (excerpts)
Le Concert des Nations
Jordi Savall, director

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