A French Baroque Diva: Arias for Marie Fel

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A French Baroque Diva: Arias for Marie Fel
Carolyn Sampson (soprano) / Ex Cathedra, Jeffrey Skidmore

[ Hyperion / CD ]

Release Date: Sunday 20 July 2014

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A welcome return of Carolyn Sampson and Ex Cathedra to Hyperion, performing the rich, fulsome music of the French Baroque. Their recording of love songs from Rameau's operas (Hyperion CDA67447) was hugely acclaimed for Sampson's stylish, fluid, seductive performances, and ten years later her artistry is even more dazzling.

This album is of particular interest as rather than concentrating on one composer it showcases the works written for the premiere soprano of the day, Marie Fel. Voltaire called her his 'adorable nightingale'. For d'Aquin, she was an enchanted being. Marie Fel was the soprano who held an entire generation spellbound at the Paris Opéra and at Louis XV's court during one of the most glorious periods of French music. With a voice described as 'pure, charming, silvery' (La Borde), 'touching and sublime' (Grimm) and 'always lovely, always seductive' (d'Aquin), she inspired some of Jean-Philippe Rameau's finest music and introduced a whole new level of virtuosity and expression into the French singing tradition. Her long, triumphant career is traced through this fascinating recording.

"don't be put off by the apparently recherche repertoire: this is a programme that leases as much today as it did in [Fel's]...the longer we listen to Sampson's voice, the more she seems to inhabit the aura of Fel...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." (Gramophone Award WINNER 2015 - Recital)

"Sampson is quite remarkable. She has the capacity to soften the vocal line with carefully controlled vibrato, but also deploys tone of crystalline clarity...bright, vibrant, responsive and entirely in tune with the expressive language and virtuosic demands of the period." BBC Music Magazine, August 2014 *****

"I'm sure Jeffrey Skidmore and Ex Cathedra won't mind me saying this is a very English interpretation...Sampson sings it all beautifully: words, affect, heart and spirit in everything, plus the most natural-sounding control in the coloratura. A really lovely disc of rare and beautiful music, performed with love." Opera Now


Fiocco, J H:
Laudate pueri (Part 1 of Laudate pueri)
A solis ortu (Part 3 of Laudate pueri)
Alleluia (Part 4 of Laudate pueri)

Ah! quand reviendront nos beaux jours?

Regna terrae (Movement 5 of Exsurgat Deus, S71)
Sinfonie (Movement 1 of Te Deum laudamus, S32)
Tu rex gloriae (Movement 8 of Te Deum laudamus, S32)
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem (Movement 9 of Te Deum laudamus, S32)
Viderunt omnes termini terrae (Movement 5 of Cantate Domino, S72)

Gasouillats auzeléts (Act 1 Scene 2 from Daphnis et Alcimadure)
Venite, adoremus (Movement 4 of Venite, exsultemus)
Hodie si vocem (Movement 6 of Venite, exsultemus)

Tristes apprêts (from Castor et Pollux)
Amour, lance tes traits (from Les fêtes de l'Hymen et de l'Amour)
La Lyre Enchantée

Rousseau, J-J:
Salve regina