Hervé Niquet / Le Concert Spirituel Orchestra & Chorus

Lully: Persée 1770

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Jean-Baptiste Lully's tragédie en musique Persée was first performed in 1682 at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris, though this revival by Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel celebrates a much later performance given at L'Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles on May 16, 1770. Most period performances are typically derived from the instrumentation and practices of a specific era, yet Lully's period is not re-created here, nor the sound of the court opera of Louis XIV, but instead, an updated Persée that was presented for the nuptials of the future Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, some 88 years later. Listeners therefore may be excused for being a bit confused by what they hear, because this version reflects the tastes of the late 18th century, not the 17th. In any event, Versailles provides the venue for this 2016 performance, and the restored theater provides exceptional acoustics and ample space for the singers. For home listeners, the music is sumptuous, crisp, and lively, and Niquet and company are in fine form for this performance, which has been meticulously recorded by Alpha Classics with sound that approaches audiophile quality. The package consists of two CDs and a hardcover book with the libretto and detailed background on this curious historical adaptation.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Persée 1770
1 3:18
2 2:43
3 0:51
4 0:53
5 1:27
6 5:00
7 1:00
8 1:38
9 1:01
10 2:55
11 2:38
12 1:22
13 1:40
14 0:36
15 1:01
16 1:43
17 1:52
18 2:41
19 3:48
20 0:44
21 1:32
22 0:55
23 0:47
24 1:39
25 1:09
26 1:09
27 1:42
28 0:53
29 1:16
30 1:00
31 3:11

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Persée 1770
1 0:22
2 1:02
3 2:41
4 1:13
5 2:39
6 1:52
7 0:42
8 1:06
9 1:36
10 1:21
11 0:41
12 0:32
13 1:26
14 0:55
15 0:36
16 0:22
17 0:23
18 0:34
19 1:04
20 1:24
21 0:53
22 2:35
23 2:14
24 3:40
25 1:20
26 1:34
27 2:30
28 1:08
29 0:43
30 1:21
31 1:43
32 1:43
33 0:29
34 2:27
35 3:17
36 3:32
blue highlight denotes track pick