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Album Reviews

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Ardella Crawford
American Record Guide, August 2000

"This is delightful, hearty music. The performances are excellent - I enjoyed all the singes and the chorus sounds full but not muddy. The sound is good overall, and the booklet is very good, with some notes about Clerambault and his times, as well as the text in French and English. Naxos has made another valuable addition to the recorded repertoire at a price that even the most penurious collector can afford."

Patrick O'Connor
Gramophone, August 2000

"The music of Louis-Nicolas Clérambault has attracted much attention from specialists in French baroque opera, but will perhaps be unfamiliar to devotees of modern music-theatre.Reviewing the Naxos recording of Clérambault's 'petit opéra' Le Triomphe d'Iris, Nicholas Anderson singled out the sopranos Marie-Louise Duthoit and Gaelle Méchaly, and the bass-baritone Jacques Bona, for special praise. As a shepherdess, Duthoit has a beautiful song, 'Pour gouter dans nos bois', accompanied by flutes and chorus she also gets the 'Air italien', and as Love sings the final call to rejoice in the power of Cupid's arrows. This was obviously designed to be sung as the god descended in some sort of stage contraption; it's all very jolly and doubtless kept the company amused during one of those long Versailles evenings. The most passionate music is a duet which Méchaly sings with the tenor Serge Goubioud as Daphnis, 'Je ne veux vivre que pour vous', suggesting the deeper emotional qualities Clérambault could bring to his music. Goubioud has one of those very light French tenor voices in the manner of Hugues Cuénod."

Nicholas Anderson
Classic FM, April 2000

"Herve Nicquet and his Concert Spirituel bring to life the amorous ups-and-downs of shepherds and shepherdesses with a good feeling for the immediate, if ephemeral charm of this piece. As well as several airs, sung with irresistible allure by Marie-Louise Duthoit and Gaelle Mechaly, there is a varied selection of dances played with spirit and insouciance."

Nick Morgan
International Record Review, April 2000

"Naxos and Niquet are doing the grand siŠcle proud, with 12 discs to date, including two collections of the chamber cantatas for which Cl‚rambault was famed. ... Recline on your pompadour and enjoy a peculiarly French flow of r‚cits, airs and choeurs, punctuated by colourful and inventive dances, the raison d'ˆtre of this kind of entertainment, a flow which Niquet moves along with a mostly well-judged fleetness. The full libretto is given in quaint old spelling, plus a good translation... There's a useful essay about Cl‚rambault... But the most important thing is that you can enjoy all this for the unbelievably small sum of œ4.99-what that comes to in pre-French Revolution sous or livres I can't tell you but it can't have been much."

Nicholas Anderson
BBC Music Magazine, February 2000

"Herve Niquet, his Concert Spirituel and a tonally alluring group of vocalists seem to revel in the piece from start to finish. The little drama is well-paced and the many dances played with sensibility and intuitive grace... The singing of sopranos Marie-Louise Duthoit and Gaelle Mechaly is irresistible."

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