Comédie et Tragédie, Vol. 1

Comédie et Tragédie, Vol. 1: Lully, Rebel & Marais —Tempesta di Mare (Chandos 805)
Tempesta di Mare is to Philadelphia as Apollo’s Fire is to Cleveland, although Tempesta was formed in 2002, 10 years after Jeannette Sorrell’s ensemble. This is Volume One of a two-disc project of late 17th-century French instrumental music. Of the three suites presented here, only one, Les Éléments by Jean-Féry Rebel, is not a collection of excerpts from an opera. Rebel’s piece, called a ‘Symphonie nouvelle’, is a ballet from 1738 and its most famous movement—depicting Chaos—begins with a chord consisting of all the notes of the D minor scale! The other two suites, from Jean-Baptiste Lully’s comedy Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and Marin Marais’ dramatic Alcyone are more conventional but all are wonderfully realized by Tempesta di Mare. By the way, the Alcyone score contains a little Sailors’ Dance which is the melody for the Christmas Carol, Masters in this hall.
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