Jordi Savall / Le Concert des Nations

Les Éléments: Tempêtes, Orages & Fêtes Marines

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AllMusic Review by

Storms were a common theme in Baroque music, and this double album by Jordi Savall and his Le Concert des Nations Baroque ensemble touches on some lesser-known items in the category and offers a good time from start to finish. The "fêtes marines" (parties on the water) classification may not seem to fit perfectly with the storms, but the Wassermusik, Hamburger Ebb und Fluth (Water Music, Ebb and Flow at Hamburg) of Georg Philipp Telemann, so much less familiar than Handel's similar work, but pretty competitive with it and full of traits one thinks of as quintessentially Handelian, is comparatively "breezy" and is of a piece with the other music on the album. Perhaps the most fun is the title work by the underrated Jean-Féry Rebel, an orchestral suite with a full-blown storm at the very beginning. Vivaldi, who excelled at this kind of thing, is represented by the Flute Concerto in F major, RV 433 ("La tempesta di mare"), while the stage tradition that intersected with the purely instrumental storm depictions is represented by Matthew Locke's 1674 music for Shakespeare's The Tempest. This work is presented complete with the noises of curtains opening and closing, and Savall's crew throughout combines instrumental authenticity with great beauty. The Marais and Rameau works on the second CD are collections of theater pieces, from a single opera (Alcione) in Marais' case, and from a group of them in Rameau's. The Rameau segment and the album conclude with a "Contredanse très vive" from the opera Zoroastre that comes as close as anything ever has to capturing what a French audience expected when they went to an opera; we won't spoil the fun by explaining further. The live recording is rare for Savall, and is a special attraction here. Highly recommended.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Les Éléments
1 07:02 Amazon
2 01:44 Amazon
3 02:29 Amazon
4 01:17 Amazon
5 01:15 Amazon
6 01:04 Amazon
7 01:49 Amazon
8 01:15 Amazon
9 02:55 Amazon
10 00:57 Amazon
11 00:51 Amazon
12 00:21 Amazon
Music for The Tempest
13 00:58 Amazon
14 01:42 Amazon
15 01:35 Amazon
16 03:09 Amazon
17 00:54 Amazon
18 04:42 Amazon
19 01:18 Amazon
20 01:25 Amazon
21 00:56 Amazon
22 01:20 Amazon
23 02:18 Amazon
Concerto in F La Tempesta di mare per Flauto solo e Corde (RV 433, Op. 10 Nr. 1)
24 02:43 Amazon
25 01:19 Amazon
26 02:11 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Airs pour les Matelots et les Tritons, Alcine
1 01:49 Amazon
2 00:51 Amazon
3 02:00 Amazon
4 02:04 Amazon
5 01:36 Amazon
6 06:51 Amazon
Wassermusik, Hamburger Ebb und Fluth, ca. 1740
7 07:49 Amazon
8 01:55 Amazon
9 01:48 Amazon
10 01:30 Amazon
11 00:56 Amazon
12 01:26 Amazon
13 02:25 Amazon
14 01:57 Amazon
15 01:05 Amazon
16 01:28 Amazon
Les Indes Galantes
17 02:28 Amazon
18 03:04 Amazon
Hippolyte et Aricie
19 01:38 Amazon
Zoroastre
20 01:12 Amazon
21 02:52 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick