St Petersburg, Concert Hall

Arias and dances: a soirée in the salon of La Pouplinière

Concert in memory of Jean Philippe Rameau (marking the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death)

Ensemble Les Arts Florissants
Soloist: Anna Reinhold (mezzo-soprano)
Сonductor: Jonathan Cohen

Jean Philippe Rameau
Extracts from the tragédie lyrique Hippolyte et Aricie:
Entrée pour les Habitants des bois
1st and 2nd Menuets
Aricie’s aria Temple sacré

Extracts from the opéra-ballet Les Indes galantes:
Air pour les Esclaves Africains
1st and 2nd Rigaudons
Emilie’s aria Fuyez, vents orageux
1st and 2nd Tambourins

Extracts from the tragédie lyrique Castor et Pollux:
Prélude du choeur de Spartiates Que tout gémisse
Télaïre’s aria Quelle faible victoire
Télaïre’s aria Tristes apprêts, pâles flambeaux

Air tendre pour les muses from the prologue of the opéra-ballet Le Temple de la Gloire

Chaconne from Act V of the tragédie lyrique Dardanus

Extracts from the opéra-ballet Les fêtes d’Hébé, ou Les talents lyriques:
Amour’s aria Vole, Zéphire
Air gracieux pour Zéphire et les Grâces
Air tendre
1st and 2nd Rigaudons
L’Hymen – Chaconne

Extracts from the pastorale héroïque Naïs:
Musette tendre
Shepherdess’ aria Je ne sais quelle ardeur me presse

“Long live Rameau, down with Gluck!” exclaimed Claude Debussy in 1903 when he heard the opera La Guirlande at the Schola Cantorum. His words fully reflect the incredibly great value of the works by the composer from Dijon. A man of theatre and a music historian, Rameau was inarguably the most unusual musician of the Age of Enlightenment. It is to this genius – serious, ironic, dancing and who was ahead of his own time – that Jonathan Cohen, Assistant Conductor of Les Arts Florissants is dedicating this concert. The programme features works from the 1730s when Rameau amazed audiences with his sweeping lyric tragedies. It was at this time that the composer began to receive support from Jean Joseph Le Riche de La Pouplinière – a rich and influential philanthropist, tax-farmer, lover of the arts and great friend of Voltaire, Latour, Rousseau, Vaucanson, Gossec and the singer Clairon. It was in this circle of authors and artists that Rameau was to find librettists for his operas.
The concert will see a performance of a highlight from the opera Hippolyte et Aricie (a selection of melodies from Act I), while after a gloomy scene from the opera Castor et Pollux the programme will see exotic refrains from Les Indes galantes and experimental chaconnes from the operas Dardanus, Naïs and Les Fêtes d’Hébé. The pulsating rhythms, unusual sound palette with woodwind instruments, a presentiment of tragedy and a purifying dance – you will find all of this in the programme of music by Rameau who was unimaginably lonely in his art but who bequeathed to us a magnificent legacy that never ages.
Young conductor Jonathan Cohen, renowned for his dazzling performances of music of the British baroque (Blow and Purcell), is setting his sights on Rameau’s world for the first time. To introduce the audience to it he has invited a singer who has long collaborated with Les Arts Florissants, mezzo-soprano Anna Reinhold who performed the role of Cybèle in a revived production of the opera Atys in New York.



Age category 6+

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