[ Erato / Warner Classics / 2 CD Box Set ]
Release Date: Friday 5 November 2021
An opera of adventurous and lavish scope, Rameau's magical Achante et Céphise receives its world premiere recording - 270 years after its staged premiere at the Académie royale de musique in celebration of the birth of Louis XV's grandson. The first French opera to feature clarinets, it offers a rich sequence of choruses, ballets and virtuoso ariettes and opens with a celebratory overture which includes a graphic musical depiction of a fireworks display. Alexis Kossenko conducts tenor Cyrille Dubois and soprano Sabine Devieilhe in the title roles, Les Ambassadeurs - the orchestra he founded in 2010 - and the choral singers of Les Chantres du CMBV (Centre de musique baroque de Versailles).
"Sabine Devieilhe and Cyrille Dubois enliven the title roles with fervent exchanges and evenly balanced dialogue; and David Witczak is splendidly menacing as the evil genie, Oroès. In short, this is an invigorating and joyous revival of a musically rich opera." BBC Music Christmas 2021 Opera Choice
"The title roles are taken by the celebrated soprano Sabine Devieilhe, who is in glorious voice as Céphise and tenor Cyrille Dubois, who sings handsomely as her lover Achante. The eponymous duo give an outstanding performance of the Act Two duet Notre arrêt va se prononcer, as the lovers wait anxiously in Temple of Cupid for the oracle's judgement on their fate. Devieilhe's special gift for expression is notably compelling throughout the opera." MusicWeb Jan 2022