The two suites on the second disc from Capella Savaria are also inventive, but, with a few exceptions, the various dances and interludes are less ear-tickling than those on the companion CD. The playing is lively and robust, with plenty of colour (including the use of horns in Les Boréades).
"Because dance was such an essential component of French Baroque opera, Rameau's stage works yield colorful, rhythmically vital orchestral suites. It would be an overstatement to say that these suites offer distillations of the dramas from which they are drawn. But they tell us a great deal about the fertility of Rameau's imagination. Faced with standard dance movements that more typically interrupt the drama than further it, Rameau composed music of great variety and energy.
"There is always the nagging feeling that one ought to be listening to the complete opera, that the suite is like the digest version of a great book. But Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque, a period-instrument group based in San Francisco, make a superb case for the practice on a disc of suites from Plat‚e and Dardanus. The orchestra's string and wind textures have an appealing bite as well as complete transparency. And the playing over all has a kind of electricity that suggest the drama of the works from which the dances are drawn."
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