REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Comédie et Tragédie - Volume 2
Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764)
Suite from Scylla et Glaucus, Op. 11 (1746) [30:43]
Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704)
Suite from Le Malade imaginaire, H 495 (1673) [12:05]
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764)
Suite from Les Fêtes de Polymnie (1745) [30:39]
Detailed contents at end of review
Tempesta di Mare - Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra/Gwyn Roberts, Richard Stone
rec. Gould Recital Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 8-10 June 2015

I greatly enjoyed the first volume (CHAN0805) of this series, with its mix of music by Lully, Marais and Rebel proving attractive and interesting. However, if anything I have found the music on this second volume all the more appealing, especially having recently reviewed the wonderful Alpha opera release of the Leclair (ALPHA 960).

The disc opens with the suite from Leclair’s Scylla et Glaucus and follows the sequence of the opera. Thankfully there's no jumping about from scene to scene but it has made me go back and listen to the full opera again, this time with more admiration. It is an attractive suite, one which highlights some key aspects of the story well, and in a performance that complements the complete opera.

The suite from Le Malade Imaginaire comes from the Musique et danse pour la comédie de Molière devised by Charpentier in 1673. It was only in 1990 that the work got its first modern performance, the first for over three hundred years. This is a very short suite, its ten movements lasting just over twelve minutes, especially when the complete work as recorded by William Christie lasts some ninety minutes (Harmonia Mundi HMX 2901887.88 - review). There is certainly more attractive music in the complete work that would have benefited from being included in the suite.

For me it is the final suite on this disc that holds the most interest, and then only because it is, apart from the Overture, new to me. Les Fêtes de Polymnie dates from 1745. Despite being contemporaneous with the Leclair, it is the most modern sounding of the three works presented here. It is the usual characterful Rameau suite, full of orchestral colour and brilliance, although not knowing the complete work I am unable to say how it follows the story.

The playing of Tempesta di Mare is once again exemplary as are the recorded sound and booklet notes. With performances like these and the previous disc let us hope that this is a long-lived series from Chandos.

Stuart Sillitoe

Detailed contents

Comédie et Tragédie - Volume 2
Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764)
Suite from 'Scylla et Glaucus', Op. 11 (1746) 30:43
1 Ouverture 3:55
2 Sarabande 1:55
3 Air gracieux 1:13
4 Symphonie pour la descente de Vénus 2:24
5 Gigue 1:43
6 Passepied 1:15
7 Marche de bergers et de silvains 2:28
8 Air de silvains 1:34
9 Passacaille 4:24
10 Loure 3:02
11 Premier Air de démons - 1:00
12 Air de démons 0:57
13 Troisième Air de démons 0:52
14 Second Air 3:00
15 Symphonie pour exprimer l'aboiement des monstres 0:51
Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704)
Suite from 'Le Malade imaginaire', H 495 (1673) 12:05
16 Ouverture 1:45
17 Les Tapissiers 1:09
18 Second Air pour les tapissiers 0:40
19 Les Chirurgiens et apothicaires 0:28
20 Air des révérences 1:16
21 Entrée des Mores 1:02
22 Ritournelle 0:51
23 Premier Air des Mores 1:26
24 Second Air des Mores 0:56
25 La Fantaisie 2:25
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764)
Suite from 'Les Fetes de Polymnie' (1745) 30:39
26 Ouverture 2:38
27 Gigue 2:11
28 Ballet figuré. Gracieusement et un peu gai 1:59
29 Descente d'Oriade et d'Argélie 0:30
30 Air grave et majestueux 4:00
31 Deuxième Air vif 2:33
32 Première Gavotte en rondeau 1:17
33 Menuets 3:56
34 Air majestueux sans lenteur 2:31
35 Chaconne 4:43
36 Air gracieux en rondeau 1:25
37 [Prélude] - Gai, sans se presser 0:42
38 Mouvement vif de chaconne 2:04