Christophe Rousset is one of the finest and most exciting harpsichordists, and as a conductor is a leader in the late 20th century revival of French Baroque music. After studying piano as a boy, he became deeply interested in the harpsichord at the age of 13. He studied with Huguette Dreyfus at the Schola Cantorum in Paris and, from 1980 to 1983, with Bob van Asperen at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. He won a special certificate of distinction at the Schola Cantorum and, in 1983, the first prize at the International Harpsichord Competition in Bruges.
Castor et Pollux is arguably Rameau's finest creation in the tragdie lyrique style. Its libretto, based in mythology, focuses on an unusual theme: the self-sacrificing love between Castor, who is mortal, and his immortal brother, Pollux. When Castor is killed while defending his beloved Tlare from an attempted abduction, Pollux resolves to give up this immortality and take Castor's place in the Underworld. After passionate debate over who will live and who will die, the brothers are eternally united, transformed into the constellation Gemini. The striking luminous sets, depicting a stylized version of the constellation, give this fabulous production a glorious 21st century baroque look.
Filmtrax will release a soundtrack album for the sci-fi thriller Anon. The album features the film’s original music composed by Christophe Beck (Ant-Man, Frozen, Edge of Tomorrow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Hangover, The Muppets). The soundtrack will be released digitally tomorrow, May 18 and will be available to download on Amazon, where you can also check out audio samples. Anon is written and directed by Andrew Niccol and stars Clive Owen, Amanda Seyfried, Colm Feore and Sony Walger. The movie is set in a future where technology has rendered privacy obsolete and follows a detective who investigates a serial assassin who has been deleted from all visual records. The thriller was released earlier this month in the U.S. and most other markets on Netflix and in the UK in select theaters and on Sky.
Créé en 1995 par Jean-Christophe Frisch, premièrement sous le nom de XVIII-21 Musique des Lumières, XVIII-21 Le Baroque Nomade est un ensemble français ayant participé à un renouvellement de l’interprétation de la musique baroque, en s’appuyant sur les découvertes musicologiques les plus récentes. L’ensemble a notamment développé le concept de baroque nomade, travaillant sur les rencontres historiquement avérées entre musiques baroques européennes et musiques extra-européennes.
In November 1772, as the 16-year-old Mozart was preparing to astonish the Milanese with his third operatic work for the Teatro Regio Ducal, his older contemporary, Tommaso Traetta (1727–79) from the Puglia region of Italy, was presenting the premiere of his second opera for the court of Catherine the Great in St Petersburg. Today, the former’s Lucio Silla is probably better known than the latter’s Antigona. But which is the finer work? On the basis of this outstanding new recorded version, I would say that Traetta’s tragedia per musica in three acts far outclasses Mozart’s opera seria for its consistent musical inspiration and sheer theatrical know-how. If Traetta’s music were at all familiar to opera-lovers today, that would not be so surprising because this contemporary and disciple of Gluck was, by 1772, an experienced composer for the theatre, already in the prime of a life that was to end, prematurely, only seven years later. His career had taken him from the conservatory in Naples to that city’s famous San Carlo, where his first commission in 1751 was Il Farnace. From there he travelled throughout Europe.