Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Rameau: Le Temple de la Gloire

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AllMusic Review by James Manheim

The operas of Jean-Philippe Rameau haven't been given the attention of those of Handel or even Vivaldi. There are various reasons for this, one being that they were spectacles on a scale difficult to replicate without the unlimited financial resources of the Versailles court behind the performers. Also, Rameau wrote in genres that are unfamiliar today. Le temple de la gloire is an opera-ballet, meaning that it included elaborate dance scenes as well as complex accomplishments in stage and costume design. Beyond that, it's hardly an opera in the conventional sense; it's more an allegorical pageant about kingship, with a prologue in which Envy attempts to destroy a Temple of Glory, and three acts in which three ancient kings of different styles and mores, with different music and textual moods to match, attempt to gain entry. The text is by none other than Voltaire, and true to form, it's not without humor. Reconstructing the opera (this live production of the original 1745 version was partly inspired by the discovery of a detailed libretto at the University of California at Berkeley) is a tall order, and this performance, backed by none less than the Center for Baroque Music at Versailles, is welcome for that reason alone. The singers are not what one imagines King Louis XV would have been able to command, but the performances in general, by the veteran Philharmonia Baroque Chorale and Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan, nevertheless convey the scope and color of Rameau's score. You could jump in anywhere, but sample the chorus odes to happiness and the following pastoral scenes for an idea of Rameau's vivid music and Voltaire's well-above-average libretto. The sound, from a UC Berkeley campus auditorium, is fair at best, but the performance and recording give a good idea of what this unique work was like, and you can hardly ask for more here. Illustrations in the substantial booklet convey more of the flavor of the original 2017 production.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Le Temple de la Gloire
1 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 03:59 Amazon
2 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 03:11 Amazon
3 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:18 Amazon
4 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:37 Amazon
5 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:01 Amazon
6 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:29 Amazon
7 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:51 Amazon
8 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:34 Amazon
9 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:46 Amazon
10 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 04:26 Amazon
11 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:39 Amazon
12 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:08 Amazon
13 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:18 Amazon
14 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 03:05 Amazon
15 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:04 Amazon
16 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:26 Amazon
17 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:06 Amazon
18 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:00 Amazon
19 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:36 Amazon
20 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:44 Amazon
21 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:40 Amazon
22 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 05:15 Amazon
23 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:46 Amazon
24 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:11 Amazon
25 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:37 Amazon
26 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 03:28 Amazon
27 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:28 Amazon
28 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 03:01 Amazon
29 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:49 Amazon
30 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:47 Amazon
31 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:04 Amazon
32 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:57 Amazon
33 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:32 Amazon
34 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:44 Amazon
35 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:44 Amazon
36 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:04 Amazon
37 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:58 Amazon
38 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:55 Amazon
39 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:01 Amazon
40 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:14 Amazon
41 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:54 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Le Temple de la Gloire
1 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:43 Amazon
2 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:27 Amazon
3 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:05 Amazon
4 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:57 Amazon
5 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:46 Amazon
6 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:10 Amazon
7 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:36 Amazon
8 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:58 Amazon
9 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:24 Amazon
10 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:22 Amazon
11 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:38 Amazon
12 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:14 Amazon
13 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:28 Amazon
14 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:00 Amazon
15 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:44 Amazon
16 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 03:03 Amazon
17 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:33 Amazon
18 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 04:18 Amazon
19 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:05 Amazon
20 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:45 Amazon
21 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:51 Amazon
22 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:05 Amazon
23 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:55 Amazon
24 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:44 Amazon
25 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:06 Amazon
26 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:41 Amazon
27 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:29 Amazon
28 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:01 Amazon
29 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:11 Amazon
30 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:46 Amazon
31 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:27 Amazon
32 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:15 Amazon
33 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:46 Amazon
34 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:34 Amazon
35 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:59 Amazon
36 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:09 Amazon
37 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:00 Amazon
38 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:25 Amazon
39 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:49 Amazon
40 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:45 Amazon
41 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:43 Amazon
42 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 03:08 Amazon
43 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 00:23 Amazon
44 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 01:36 Amazon
45 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 03:04 Amazon
46 Philharmonia Chorale / Nicholas McGegan / Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 02:37 Amazon
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