Paul O'Dette / Stephen Stubbs / Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble / Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble

Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Les Plaisirs de Versailles; Les Arts Florissants

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Composed as entertainments for the Grand Appartements at Versailles, Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Les plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants were a combination of chamber opera and royal pageantry, designed to curry favor with the French king, Louis XIV, and to promote Charpentier's career at court. While the motivations behind these pieces are intriguing and shed light on the social life of the aristocracy, listeners today may find the music the most appealing aspect, for Charpentier's light touch and wit make both works scintillating gems of French Baroque opera in its early stage. The Boston Early Music Festival has become closely associated with Charpentier's music, and this CPO recording follows two previous releases by the group, Actéon in 2010, and La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs in 2014. Indeed, the group has been a force for the revival of works by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Johann Georg Conradi, Agostino Steffani, and Johann Sebastiani, all of which benefit from the ensemble's expertise in Baroque performance practices and versatility in this little known repertoire. CPO's sound captures the ambiance of one of Louis' small theaters, bringing intimacy to the singers and creating the impression of a staging at Versailles.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Les Plaisirs de Versailles
1 01:52 Amazon
2 04:08 Amazon
3 04:10 Amazon
4 03:27 Amazon
5 01:16 Amazon
6 01:50 Amazon
7 01:15 Amazon
8 01:07 Amazon
9 01:00 Amazon
10 00:49 Amazon
11 01:53 Amazon
12 03:01 Amazon
13 04:03 Amazon
Les Arts Florissants
14 02:32 Amazon
15 02:19 Amazon
16 03:13 Amazon
17 03:03 Amazon
18 02:24 Amazon
19 03:15 Amazon
20 00:56 Amazon
21 02:11 Amazon
22 03:07 Amazon
23 02:59 Amazon
24 01:16 Amazon
25 03:58 Amazon
26 06:28 Amazon
27 04:33 Amazon
28 03:05 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick