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By Alexandre Duhamel, Artavazd Sargsyan, Brussels Philharmonic, Caroline Meng, Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Flemish Radio Choir, Francois Saint-Yves, Gabrielle Philiponet, Herve Niquet, Judith van Wanroji, Nicolas Courjal, Sebastien Droy, and Yu Shao. By Amedee de Pastoret, Charles Santley, Leon Halevy, Mass Text, and Charles Francois Gounod (1818-1893). Classical. CD + Book. Naxos #ES1030. Published by Naxos (NX.ES1030).
Item Number: NX.ES1030
An icon of French Romanticism thanks to the enduring popularity of his operas Faust and Romeo et Juliette, Charles Gounod competed three times for the prestigious Prix de Rome between 1837 and 1839. Thus he composed three unpublished cantatas for soloists and orchestra, including Marie Stuart et Rizzio and La Vendetta, which he never had the opportunity to hear in performance. Revealed for the first time, these three cantatas, fine examples of French Romanticism, show a young composer with a remarkable flair for opera. In the end Fernand won him the coveted prize, carrying with it the privilege of a three-year stay (from 1840) at the Villa Medici in Rome. While there he produced several sacred compositions, which have also remained unknown until now. His splendid Messe vocale for unaccompanied choir, written in a neo-Palestrinian style, deserves a place on the programme of every vocal ensemble.