Gerard Lesne - Cantatas (5 CD, FLAC)
Gerard Lesne - Cantatas (5 CD, FLAC)

Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 5
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Virgin Classics
Size: 1.43 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD1
Lambert du Buisson
01. Plainte sur la mort de Monsieur Lambert

Nicolas Clerambault – Pirame et Tisbe
02. [Prelude] Gravement; Recitatif: Pirame, pour Tisbe
03. Air: Si votre tendresse est extreme
04. Recitatif: Tisbe, pour resister a l’ardeur
05. Air: Au pied de ces tombeaux
06. Air: Vole, vole, dit-elle
07. Plainte: Quoi? Tisbe, tu n’es plus?
08. Air: Venez, monstres affreux
09. Air: Amour, qui voudra desormais s’empresser

Philippe Courbois – L’Amant timide
10. Recitatif: La beaute qu’adore Philene
11. Air: Fuyez, fuyez, nuages sombres
12. Recitatif: Mais, c’en est fait
13. Air: Vous qui differez la presence
14. Recitatif: Tandis que le berger
15. Air: Dans le moment le plus tendre

Nicolas Bernier – Aminte et Lucrine
16. [Prelude] Tendrement et coule; Air: Que mon destin, helas, est deplorable!
17. Recitatif: C’est ainsi que l’Amour
18. Air: Divine protectrice
19. Recitatif: La deesse, sensible a ses tristes accents
20. Oracle: Diane est irritee
21. Recitatif: La perfide a l’instant est conduite a l’autel
22. Air: Vous qui soumettez a vos lois

Jean-Baptiste Stuck – Les Festes bolonnoises
23. [Prelude]
24. Recitatif: Quel bruit fait retentir
25. Air: Volez, volez, charmants Amours
26. Recitatif: Bientot un heros glorieux
27. Air: Que de la Seine a la Tamise

CD2 Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti
01. Questo silenzio ombroso- Questo silenzio ombroso
02. – Dolce piange romito usignuolo
03. – Or mentr’io dormo
04. Filli che esprime la sua fede a Fileno – Introduzione
05. – Recitativo: Filen, mio caro bene
06. – Aria: Chiedi pur ai monti
07. – Recitativo: Ma se prova bastante
08. – Aria: Che ti sembra, son fedele
09. Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra – Recitativo: Cleopatra, mia Reina
10. – Aria: Parto dunque, o mio tesoro
11. – Recitativo: Antonio, e qual destino
12. – Aria: Vo goder senza contrasto
13. – Recitativo: Somministriamo a Giove
14. – Duo: Deh, mio ben, troppo ti sprona
15. – Recitativo: Regina, e scritto in ciel
16. – Duo: Dunque mio core
17. E pur vuole il cielo e amore – E pur vuole il cielo e amore
18. – In si duro martire che piu penar
19. Ero e Leandro – Recitativo: Leandro, anima mia
20. – Aria: Non mi togliete il bene
21. – Recitativo: Vieni, Leandro, a consolar
22. – Aria: La speranza dice al core
23. – Recitativo: Cosi fra se parlava
24. – Aria: Di donna amante
25. Clori e Mirtillo – Recitativo: Mentre sul carro aurato
26. – Aria: Piu di te
27. – Recitativo: Ma come in questi prati
28. – Aria: No, non disperar
29. – Recitativo: Dimmi, intatta per me
30. – Aria: Si, per te, mio bene
31. – Recitativo: E tu, Clori gentile
32. – Duo: Sin che il sole spande i rai

CD3 Antonio Caldara
01. Medea in Corinto
02. Soffri, mio caro Alcino
03. Sonata da camera Op.2 No.3 en re majeur – Preludio
04. – Allemanda
05. – Giga
06. – D’improvviso
07. Sonata a tre Op.i No.5 en mi mineur – Grave
08. – Vivace
09. – Adagio
10. – Vivace
11. Vicino a un rivoletto

СD4 Giovanni Bononcini
01. Siedi, Amarilli mia – Preludio
02. – Aria: Siedi, Amarilli mia
03. – Arioso: Io ti miro
04. – Recitativo: Ah! si che i tuoi begl’occhi
05. – Aria: Se scherza e ride
06. Lasciami un sol momento – Aria: Lasciami un sol momento
07. – Recitativo: E possibile, o Dio
08. – Aria: Soffro in pace
09. Cello Sonata in en la mineur – Andante
10. – Allegro
11. – Menuet I: Grazioso – Menuet II
12. Misero pastorello – Ritornello
13. – Recitativo: Misero pastorello
14. – Aria: Se tarda l’aurora
15. – Recitativo: Consolati, cor mio
16. – Aria: Si, vi rivedro
17. Trio Sonata per due violini e continuo en re mineur – Tempo giusto
18. – Spiritoso
19. – Lento
20. – Allegro
21. Gia la stagion d’amore – Recitativo: Gia la stagion d’amore
22. – Aria: Vaghe rose
23. – Recitativo: Pastorella gentile
24. – Aria: Occhi vezzosi

СD5 Georg Friedrich Händel
01. Splenda l’alba in oriente
02. La Lucrezia
03. Trio Sonata Op.5 No.4 en sol majeur – Allegro
04. – A tempo ordinano – Allegro non presto
05. – Passacaglia
06. – Giga
07. – Menuet
08. Mi palpita il cor
09. Carco sempre di gloria

“If Musick be the FOOD …

… on your table, this 5-CD box of musical delights may be the only nutrition anyone can afford in the current post-capitalist economic calamity. Seriously, what else can we afford? How the CD merchants can afford to produce these bargain boxes – Virgin Classics and Brilliant Classics in particular – is too subtle a question for me. One thing, of course: the share of earnings that reaches the performers wouldn’t buy a slice of pizza in Positano.

All five CDs in this collection are, of course, re-releases of recordings made at various times in the 1990s, and several of them are still available as singles. Check your library for possible duplications; the CD3 Caldara, for instance, is also being sold as a 2-for-1 set along with a disk of motets by Stradella, a pairing that I reviewed some months ago, with enthusiasm. Nevertheless, even if you find yourself duplicating one or two CDs, the price for these five together is still an early Xmas present.

Now then: FIVE CDs of one male alto singing Baroque cantatas? If you suppose this would be too much of a good thing, you haven’t yet grasped the expressive virtuosity of Gerard Lesne. The man sings every phrase with such engagement that you forget you’re listening to a singer and imagine that you’re hearing a passionate human ‘speaking’ musically just to you. There is also an immense range of compositional resources in baroque music – a bag of tricks, if you will – which only the finest performers like Lesne can fully exploit. And just in case you suffer from a short musical attention span, the generous producers oat Virgin Classics have built in a couple of instrumental sonatas to let your ears re-set.

CD1 features five short cantatas by French composers, clearly acknowledging their indebtedness to the Italian masters: Du Boisson, Clerambault, Corbois, Bernier, and Stuck. It’s fun to hear Lesne sing his native language for a change, and the character of that language is the soul of its musical expression: plaintive, pensive, ever slightly more worldly and cynical than Italian. Naturally, minor keys and stately rhythms prevail.

CD2 belongs to Alessandro Scarlatti, the most cerebral of Baroque composers, whose music bears the closest listening in terms of compositional wiles and whimsies. Lesne is joined for two of Scarlatti’s most operatic secular cantatas by soprano Sandrine Piau, whose voice and technique are the optimal match for Lesne’s.

CD3 features the tempestuous music of Antonio Caldara, from the rage of Medea in Corinto to the rapture of Vicino a un rivoletto. Two chamber sonatas by Caldara, performed by vionists Ryo Terakado and Bernadette Charbonnier, buffer the emotional extremes of Caldara’s cantatas.

Giovanni Bononcini, on CD4, comes the closest to a purely galante music of broad simplicity. My own favorite composition on this CD is not one of the four pastoral cantatas but rather the Cello Sonata in A minor, played by cellist Bruno Cocset. The continuo on this CD is also of special merit, including both archlute and theorbo, providing a kind of complexity of texture that the straight-ahead melodies of Bononcini demand.

And then there’s CD5: GF Handel at his height of Italian exuberance and vocal virtuosity, the excitement magnified by brilliant obbligato writing for flutes, oboe, and violin. Lesne digs down into his reserves of adrenalin for Handel, charging even the most foursquare passagework with luxuriant vocal timbres.

Thus you have Scarlatti for subtlety, Caldara for drama, Bononcini for graciousness, and Handel for inventiveness. Who needs food when music is almost free?

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