Lully - Isis
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Cat No: AP216
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 15th November 2019
Choeur de Chambre de Namur
Les Talens Lyriques
Known as the musicians’ opera, inspired both by the Roman mythology and Ancient Egypt, Isis is mostly a story of love and jealousy: Jupiter courts the nymph Io and thus exposes his new love to the wrath of Juno, his godly wife, who will pursue her all over the underworld. This plot raised quite a scandal at the Royal Court when Madame de Montespan, who was the King’s favourite, saw in it a reference to her own situation, the Sun King being at that time occupied with his new mistress Mademoiselle de Ludres. She therefore exiled Quinault, Lully’s librettist, to punish him for his boldness.
The great intensity of Isis’s episodes, with all its metamorphosis and developments (Io becoming the goddess Isis) provides to Lully many occasions to shows his wonderful orchestral skills, revealing indeed a scenic vividness that left its mark: from the freezing chorus of the people of the frozen regions, that inspired Purcell for his Cold Song, to the grieving flutes imitating the nymph Syrinx turned into reeds.
Revived with great intention by Christophe Rousset, the Talens Lyriques, the Chamber Choir of Namur and a brilliant casting (the rich timbres of Ève-Maud Hubeaux and Bénédicte Tauran as Io and Juno, and Edwin Crossley-Mercer singing Jupiter), Isis displays its graceful aura and reveals all its charms in this wonderful recording.
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