Vox Luminis / A Nocte Temporis

Charpentier: Orphée aux Enfers

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has been a favorite subject in opera since the genre's Baroque beginnings with Jacopo Peri's Euridice and Claudio Monteverdi's La favola d'Orfeo and continued in later centuries with Christoph Willibald Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, Jacques Offenbach's Orphée aux enfers, Harrison Birtwistle's The Mask of Orpheus, and Philip Glass' Orphée, among many others. It is therefore unsurprising that the prolific French opera composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier tried his hand at this perennial story in two works: a cantata for three male singers and a small chamber ensemble, titled Orphée descendant aux enfers, and the incomplete two-act lyric tragedy for a larger cast and a fuller orchestra, La Descente d'Orphée aux enfers. Vox Luminis and A Nocte Temporis, under the direction of Reinoud Van Mechelen and Lionel Meunier, present scintillating performances on period instruments and in historically informed style, suggesting the bright sonorities and intimate ambiance of a 17th century court performance. Alpha recorded these performances in 2019 at the Keyhof Chapel in Huldenberg, Belgium, so the acoustics are fairly resonant, though the close microphone placement insures the closeness of the singers and the clear details in the ensemble's warm, enveloping sound.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Orphée Descendant Aux Enfers, H.471
1 03:27 Amazon
2 01:19 Amazon
3 07:34 Amazon
4 01:16 Amazon
5 03:57 Amazon
6 02:57 Amazon
La Descente D'Orphée Aux Enfers, H.488
7 02:37 Amazon
8 04:38 Amazon
9 03:05 Amazon
10 00:37 Amazon
11 00:41 Amazon
12 03:33 Amazon
13 01:34 Amazon
14 00:43 Amazon
15 02:22 Amazon
16 05:09 Amazon
17 01:39 Amazon
18 01:55 Amazon
19 01:49 Amazon
20 01:12 Amazon
21 01:34 Amazon
22 01:16 Amazon
23 01:12 Amazon
24 02:55 Amazon
25 01:31 Amazon
26 02:38 Amazon
27 01:54 Amazon
28 02:12 Amazon
29 01:34 Amazon
30 03:44 Amazon
31 02:47 Amazon
32 06:43 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick