Mondonville - Isbe
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Cat No: GCD924001
Number of Discs: 3
Release Date: 13th January 2017
Reinoud Van Mechelen
Blandine Folio Peres
In his native Budapest, Vashegyi has been developing his interpretations of Baroque music with his Orfeo Orchestra and Purcell Choir for nearly three decades now, and for this recording he has assembled a magnificent team of vocal soloists, well-versed in the idiom of 18th-century French opera. Thomas Dolié assumes the important role of Adamas, the Chief Druid, who is besotted by Isbé, and yet is also provided with modern Enlightenment thinking (the opera was premièred in 1742). The title role is taken by British soprano Katherine Watson, while Isbé’s other suitor, Coridon, is sung by tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen.
Despite being somewhat overshadowed in his lifetime by his older and more prolific contemporary, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Mondonville was already a successful composer of instrumental music and some ambitious grands motets before he composed Isbé, and his operatic vision was remarkably well-advanced in terms of structure, orchestration and melodic invention; he was clearly also aware of the advances made by Antonio Vivaldi in orchestral music.
A new recording of music by Mondonville – and György Vashegyi and his team have also been responsible for a disc of grands motets – is a welcome development in the modern re-evaluation of this impressive composer from the Languedoc.
“Well-heeled in the French Baroque, György Vashegyi’s effusive period-instrument Orfeo Orchestra and glowing Purcell Choir play its Handelian accents with all the gusto it merits … there is still much to enjoy in the serene melancholy of De Profundis, the glorious rhetoric of Magnus Dominus and graceful eloquence of Nisi Dominus.” – Classical Ear, 5/7/2016 (Mondonville - Grands Motets)
“It is greatly to the credit of Gyorgy Vashegyi and his Hungarian Chorus and period-instrument orchestra that the performance fully bears comparison with those of the finest French specialists in this repertoire. The splendid orchestra in particular delights in Rameau’s richly colourful palette … overall a splendid recording that is essential listening for all Ramistes.” – Opera, May 2015 (Rameau - Les Fêtes de Polymnie)
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