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Carolyn Sampson, Ex Cathedra & Jeffrey Skidmore - A French Baroque Diva (2014)

8-09-2015, 13:49
Music | Classical Music | FLAC / APE | HD & Vinyl

Carolyn Sampson, Ex Cathedra & Jeffrey Skidmore - A French Baroque Diva (2014)

Artist: Carolyn Sampson, Ex Cathedra & Jeffrey Skidmore
Title Of Album: A French Baroque Diva
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Hyperion
Genre: Vocal, Classical, Baroque
Quality: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks,digital booklet)
Bitrate: 320 kbps / Lossless [44.1kHz/16bit / 96kHz/24bit]
Time: 1:12:55
Full Size: 187 mb / 370 mb / 1.43 gb

This is a brilliantly planned and executed, musically illustrated biography of Marie Fel, one of the great 18th-century divas and muse of Rameau, admired by the Philosophes and adored by Paris audiences. So don’t be put off by the apparently recherché repertoire: this is a programme that pleases as much today as it did in hers, guided by Graham Sadler’s beautifully crafted booklet-notes.

Fel made her Opéra debut in a 1734 revival of Louis Lacoste’s Philomèle, singing the role of Venus. Carolyn Sampson, in superb form, is joined here by the choir of Ex Cathedra, who sing with precision and clarity of articulation in a lovely bright acoustic. As well as at the opera house, Fel also performed at the public concerts held in the Tuileries, where she was a soloist in Latin choral and orchestral music by Lalande, Mondonville, Rousseau and the Italian Fiocco, as well as in private performances of the theatre works by Mondonville and Rameau at Fontainebleau and Versailles included (mainly excerpts) on this disc.

The orchestra of Ex Cathedra, led by Margaret Faultless, provide stirring and sympathetic accompaniments for this varied succession of virtuoso vocal vehicles. Flautist Rachel Brown performs the exquisite solo and concertante lines in Mondonville’s Venite, adoremus and illuminates the sound of the lyre with her piccolo in Rameau’s divertissement from Les surprises de l’Amour. There is also sensitive concertante playing by the bassoonists in ‘Tristes apprêts’ and, with the addition of the oboist Gail Hennessy, in the movement from Lalande’s Cantate Domino.

Best of all, the longer we listen to Sampson’s voice, the more she seems to inhabit the aura of Fel, clearly a skilled and charismatic yet deeply affecting performer. Fel’s artistic flexibility is further demonstrated by the inclusion of the Fiocco (here performed with ornamentation Fel wrote into her part), Mondonville’s frothy pastorale – obliging Sampson to sing in Fel’s native Occitan – and Rousseau’s bang-up-to-date Salve regina, which obliges the soloist to blend her voice with the horns. Sampson’s performance is the more admirable for evoking the spirit of another singer.

Start to finish, Jeffrey Skidmore devotedly shapes and paces the programme to achieve a fittingly vivid portrait of Mlle Fel.


01. Philomèle - Prologue Scene 1: Ah! quand reviendront nos beaux jours?
02. Exsurgat Deus, S71 - Movement 5: Regna terrae
03. Te Deum laudamus, S32 - Movement 01: Sinfonie
04. Te Deum laudamus, S32 - Movement 08: Tu rex gloriae
05. Te Deum laudamus, S32 - Movement 09: Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem
06. Salve regina - Part 1: Salve regina, salve mater
07. Salve regina - Part 2: Ad te clamamus, exsules, filii Evae
08. Salve regina - Part 3: O clemens, o pia
09. Castor et Pollux - Act 1 Scenes 2-3: Un tendre intérêt vous appelle – Tristes apprêts
10. Platée - Act 3 Scene 4: Amour, lance tes traits
11. Daphnis et Alcimadure - Act 1 Scene 2: Gasouillats auzeléts
12. Laudate pueri - Part 1: Laudate pueri
13. Laudate pueri - Part 3: A solis ortu
14. Laudate pueri - Part 4: Alleluia
15. Venite, exsultemus - Movement 4: Venite, adoremus
16. La lyre enchantée - No 1: Accordez vos sons et vos pas
17. La lyre enchantée - No 2: Gavotte: Lyre enchanteresse
18. La lyre enchantée - No 3: Écoutons … D'un doux frémissement
19. La lyre enchantée - No 4: Vole, Amour, prête-moi tes armes
20. La lyre enchantée - No 5: Contredanse
21. Cantate Domino, S72 - Movement 5: Viderunt omnes termini terrae
22. Venite, exsultemus - Movement 6: Hodie si vocem

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