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Cat. No. CHAN 0727 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0727 - Gossec: Le Triomphe de la République ou Le Camp de Grand Pre
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Available From: 01 April 2006
Gossec made an important contribution to the development of French symphonic music and played a central role in Parisian musical life for almost three-quarters of a century.

The opera Le Triomphe de la Republique was composed in 1793 following the French Revolution and wonderfully demonstrates the musical movement that France experienced following the change in political climate. Music was recognised as a medium for the diffusion of new ideas and Le Triomphe de la Republique was a case in point. It was written in the wake of popular enthusiasm at the news of the army’s victory at the battle of Valmy in 1792 against the anti-French troops led by the Duke of Brunswick. It features folk music and popular dances of the day reflecting a kind of life quite distinct from that of intellectual, aristocratic society. This is an opera that can be seen as redefining music for the new age; the awareness that new relationships were being formed within society as a whole is expressed stylistically by multi-levelled metaphors, and also by the interaction of different kinds of sound.

I Barocchisti have a worldwide reputation for reviving vocal and instrumental works of the Baroque period and have earned worldwide success with live performances and recordings. Swiss conductor Diego Fasolis has received glowing reviews for his previous releases with this ensemble.
Gossec: Le Triomphe de la République

Taken under the wing of Rameau and later a supporter of Gluck, Gossec excelled in the lighter forms of opera. After 1789 he metamorphosed effortlessly into the composer of choice in post-Revolutionary Paris. His gift for simplicity in harmony and melody, and the full and impressive use if wind instruments was ideally suited to providing improving entertainment for the zealots of the new order, Le Triomphe de la République, first staged in 1793, was written as an enthusiastic response to the victory of revolutionary forces against the Duke of Brunswick at the Battle of Valmy. This is the revolution on stage: the leaders of the people and the forces of virtue unite in music of infectious simplicity. The Gluckian manner adopted in the overture is soon abandoned for brasher colouring and march rhythms that show how this style in French music lay in the background to Beethoven’s martial manner. Diego Fasolis and his performers deliver this extraordinary score with no hint of embarrassment at its pervasive simplicity in a brightly-hued recording. Choral vocal lines are mostly firm, Gossec’s richly upholstered orchestral lines are handsomely shaped and the soloists song with bright-eyed conviction. Very much a period piece, but one worth dipping into. Jan Smaczny, BBC Music Magazine **** Performance **** Sound

Reviews

Score is gloriously proletarian, subverting the aristocratic conventions of 18th-century French Opera by substituting revolutionary songs for arias and choruses. Some may fine its overtly bellicose mood objectionable. At the same time it’s hard not to be swept away by its rabble-rousing intensity, particularly given that the performance, with Diego Fasolis conducting I Barocchisti and a first-rate cast, is so convincing.
The Guardian

Diego Fasolis, the Swiss Radio Choir and the excellent I Barrochisti here provide a good account of Gossec’s fervent piece of propaganda.
Gramophone

The performance under Diego Fasolis is polished, vigorous and unashamedly full-blooded – exactly what this music needs. An intriguing snapshot of the revolution in action.
The Telegraph

Diego Fasolis and his performers deliver this extraordinary score with no hint of embarrassment at its pervasive simplicity in a brightly-hued recording. Choral vocal lines are mostly firm, Gossec’s richly upholstered orchestral lines are handsomely shaped and the soloists sing with bright-eyed conviction.
BBC Music Magazine

The peasantry is patronised in a folk dance is such pleasing catchiness that one almost forgives the librettist Chénier his chauvinism and crude propaganda. Claudio Danusier’s General sings in a gruffy antique bass, a sinew-stiffening account of victory in which the gallant Gauls crush tyranny forever. Or until the next war. The dance, meanwhile, I play repeatedly.
The Times

…the performance is highly enjoyable, snappily paced and deftly characterised by singers and orchestra alike
The Daily Telegraph on CHAN 0676(2) Galuppi: Il mondo alla roversa

I Barocchisti are a lively, musicianly period-instrument band, and Diego Fasolis directs with light hand andsympathetic spirit
Early Music Review on CHAN 0705(2) Piccinni: Le donne vendicate

Diego Fasolis clearly believes in Gossec’s eclectic concoction; with his spirited and talented period-instrument I Barocchisti he relishes the rhythmic and melodic variety and brings out the constantly changing sonorities…This is a fascinating issue which I recommend in particular to lovers of French culture of the Revolutionary years. The score ends with an extended divertissement, not the grand choral scene one might expect. There is much to enjoy here.
International Record Review

This period-instrument performance is exuberant but delivered with finesse, and the two choirs and seven soloists are all excellent.
The Sunday Times

 

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