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Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville: Isbe

By Alain Buet

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By Alain Buet, Chantal Santon-Jeffrey, Gyorgy Vashegyi, Katherine Watson, Orfeo Orchestra, Purcell Choir, Reinoud Can Mechelen, and Thomas Dolie. By Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville (1711-1772). Classical. Listening CD (3 discs). Published by Glossa Music (NX.GCD924001).

Item Number: NX.GCD924001

With Isbe, a pastorale heroïque by Jean-Joseph Cassanea de Mondonville, Gyorgy Vashegyi has revived another overlooked dramatic work from the French Baroque - much as he did with Rameau's Les Fetes de Polymnie - for another release on the Glossa label. 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 eighteenth- century French opera: Thomas Dolie assumes the important role of Adamas, the Chief Druid, who is besotted by Isbe, and yet is also provided with modern Enlightenment thinking (the opera was premiered in 1742).The title role has been taken by the British soprano Katherine Watson, while Isbe's other suitor, Coridon, is sung by tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen. Despite being somewhat over-shadowed 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 Isbe, 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.

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