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Leclair: Scylla & Glaucus

By Emoke Barath

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By Emoke Barath, Anders J. Dahlin, Caroline Mutel, Les Nouveaux Caracteres, and Sebastien d'Herin. By Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764). Region: 0; MPAA Rating: NR. Classical. 3 listening CDs. Published by Alpha (NX.ALPHA960).

Item Number: NX.ALPHA960

Jean-Marie Leclair, a pure product of the 18th century, was at the crossroads of styles, cultivating a virtuosic art combining melodies a la francaise and Italian virtuosity stemming from Corelli and Vivaldi. He was 49 when he undertook his first (and only) lyric tragedy: Scylla et Glaucus. In the greatest French tradition, this work combines sumptuous numbers of sentimental outpourings with frightening scenes of fury and terror, in which the orchestra, with forceful passages, plays a dazzling role. A veritable masterpiece, revealing the obvious influence of Rameau, Scylla et Glaucus left a strong mark on French opera. First performed at the Academie Royale de Musique in 1746, this opera, which had a run of 17 performances and enjoyed great success, was only rediscovered in the 1980s (by John Eliot Gardiner in Lyon). For this re-creation, recorded at the Royal Opera and featuring in the Alpha/ Chateau de Versailles collection, Sebastien d'Herin, a connoisseur of Rameau and that era, has surrounded himself with top-notch performers, including the promising amorous duo of Anders Dahlin and Emoke Barath, for a resurrection of what the great musicologist Cuthbert Girdlestone considered 'probably, along with those of Rameau et Gluck, the finest French opera of the century'.

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