Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 
REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


François REBEL (1701–1775) & François FRANCOEUR (1698–1787)
Zélindor, roi des Sylphes (1745) [47.09]
Suite from La Trophée (1745) [14.27]
Zélindor – Jean-Paul Fouchecourt (tenor); Zirphe – Heidi Grant Murphy (soprano); Zulim – William Sharp (baritone); Nymph – Ah Young Hong (soprano); La Muse [La Trophée] - Heidi Grant Murphy (soprano); Le Génie [La Trophée] - Jean-Paul Fouchecourt (tenor)
The Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus/Ryan Brown
rec. Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda, Maryland, USA, 15-16 October 2007
NAXOS 8.660224 [61.36]

Experience Classicsonline

Rebel and Francoeur's divertissement Zélindor, roi des Sylphes does not seem to have been performed since the end of the 18th century and the performances by Opera Lafayette, on which this recording is based, were the work's modern première.

Francoeur and Rebel met in their teens when they were both members of the Paris Opera orchestra. Their friendship and professional association lasted a lifetime and culminated in their joint directorship of the Opera from 1757.

Along the way, they wrote a series of opera divertissements, all produced jointly. According to the 18th century musicologist Jean-Benjamin de Laborde, Rebel wrote the dramatic bits and Francoeur the lyrical ones. But when taxed, the composers said that their pieces were by both of them. And they do seem to have hit upon a consistency of approach. Listening to Zélindor or the suite from La Trophée on this disc, the music sounds uniform throughout.

Judging by the photographs in the CD booklet, Opera Lafayette's performances were charmingly staged and it is a shame that a DVD could not have been produced as this is music that cries out for staging and for dance. The plot of Zélindor is slight. Zélindor (Jean-Paul Fouchecourt) is King of the Sylphs and is in love with a mortal, Zirphe (Heidi Grant Murphy). He needs to test her before finally agreeing to marry her. Along the way there are the usual dance episodes, attractive without showing any of the drama and invention of Rameau. The whole manages to stretch to some 50 minutes.

The work was first performed before King Louis XV in 1745 and went on to be popular at the Paris Opera. In 1753 Madame de Pompadour performed the role of Zélindor (suitably transposed up) in her private theatre at Versailles. It seems to have been a work popular for private performances. Voltaire's mistress, Madame du Chatelet, sang the role of Zirphe at performances put on by the Duchesse de Maine. Voltaire himself admired the libretto by Moncrif.

The work is indeed charming and attractively melodic, but lacks the depths and the dramatic vividness that is found in the best of Lully and Rameau.

Jean-Paul Fouchecourt is stylishly excellent in the title role. Heidi Grant Murphy charms as his lover Zirphe, though there were moments when her voice seemed to want to apply more vibrato than is needed. They are well supported by William Sharp and Ah Young Hong.

The Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus are not Les Arts Florissants, but under Ryan Brown's direction they manage to find charm and crisp pungency in the music.

Zélindor is accompanied by an attractive suite from La Trophée, another divertissement premièred the same year as Zélindor.

The CD booklet contains the libretto in French and English, an informative essay and a selection of photographs from the Opera Lafayette production.

This is a performance that successfully evokes the charm - and the shallowness - of Louis XV's Versailles.

Robert Hugill
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.