One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687)
Ouverture avec tous les Airs à jouer de l'Opéra de Phaëton [24:54]
Ouverture avec tous les Airs à jouer de l'Opéra Atys [14:22]
Ouverture, Chaconne et Tous les autres Airs à jouer de l'Opéra d'Armide [23:21]
Capriccio Barockorchester/Dominik Kiefer
rec. 10-13 March 2011, auditorium, Kurbrunnenanlage, Rheinfelden, Switzerland. DDD
TUDOR 7185 [63:06]

Experience Classicsonline

Jean-Baptiste Lully was one of the most influential composers in music history. He dominated the music scene in France in the second half of the 17th century. His fame continued even beyond his death in 1687. He also had a host of followers outside France, in particular in Germany. Various composers were attracted to his instrumental writing, and started to compose orchestral overtures in his style. The great popularity of the instrumental movements from his operas is reflected in the various publications of such pieces, for instance by Estienne Roger in Amsterdam. This disc presents instrumental suites from three of Lully’s operas. They are from collections which appeared between 1697 and 1712.
The three suites don't include all the instrumental music from the operas in question. These span a period of 11 years: Atys was performed in 1676, Phaëton in 1683 and Armide in 1687. To the word airs in the titles of his editions Roger added à jouer to indicate that these don't refer to vocal items, but rather toinstrumental pieces of a specific nature. In the suite from Armide we find an air pour les flûtes et violons, and in Phaëton a petit air pour les Égyptiens. Also notable is that every suite includes several préludes. These were used as the introduction to an act - Lully's operas are usually in a prologue and five acts - or a scene.
There is a significant difference between Roger's publications and the original scorings. In France the opera orchestra was divided into five parts: dessus (violins), haute-contre, taille, quinte (violas of different sizes) and basses (basse de violon). The line-up of orchestras in other parts of Europe was different. The violins were mostly split into two different parts, the violas which in the 17th century were mostly also split into two, were increasingly reduced to just one part, and the Italian cello was deployed for the bass line. In addition they often included a double-bass or violone, whereas the French orchestra omitted an octaving 16-foot bass. In Roger’s collections the original scoring was adapted to suit the common line-up of orchestras outside France. What we have here is a performance of Lully's orchestral music from a non-French perspective.
Suites like these were mostly played by court orchestras. These greatly differed in size. This is taken into account in this recording. The disc opens with the suite from Phaëton which is played with a large ensemble of 10 violins (5/5), four violas, two basses de violon and violone, plus three transverse flutes, three oboes, two bassoons and harpsichord. Next follows the suite from Atys which is played in a chamber music scoring of two violins, viola, basse de violon, violone, two recorders, two oboes, bassoon, theorbo and harpsichord. The last suite, from Armide, is played with a medium-size ensemble, with seven violins (4/3), three violas, three basses de violon, pairs of recorders, oboes and bassoons, theorbo and harpsichord. This gives some impression of how Lully's music could have been played outside France.
There is just one questionable aspect, and that is the use of the basse de violon. This instrument, also referred to as the bass violin, was used across Europe during the 17th century. Outside France it was increasingly replaced by the cello. Only in France and England was it still used in the early decades of the 18th century. As the editions of Roger appeared from 1697 onwards it seems anachronistic to include the basse de violon in performances which pretend to reflect performance practice outside France in the first half of the 18th century.
That is the only thing which I can complain about. I have greatly enjoyed these performances which bring out the splendour and colourful nature of these suites. It is easy to understand why so many non-French musicians and composers - and not to forget, their employers - were so fascinated by the music which was originally performed at the court of Versailles which was imitated across Europe as well. The character pieces like the Entrées des Furies (Phaëton) are played just as well as the kind of pieces French music was famous for, like the chaconne (Phaëton) or the passacaille (Armide), and a beautiful piece like Sommeil (sleep) from Atys. Both string and wind players do an excellent job here.
Every reason for lovers of baroque orchestral music to be enthusiastic about this disc.
Johan van Veen
















































































































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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
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.