Magazine article Gramophone

Rameau: Dardanus

Magazine article Gramophone

Rameau: Dardanus

Article excerpt

Rameau  Dardanus Bernard Richter ten                    Dardanus Benoit Arnould bar                      Antenor Gaelle Arquez mez                        Iphise Alain Buet bass                          Teucer Joao Fernandes bass                     Ismenor Sabine Devieilhe sop       Venus/Phrygian Woman Emmanuelle De Negri sop.   Amour/Phrygian Woman Romain Champion ten                       Areas 

Ensemble Pygmalion / Raphael Pichon Alpha [F] (2) ALPHA951 (145' * DDD * S)

Dardanus comes in two very different versions. This recording is of the second, staged in 1744 and revived in 1760. The first version of 1739 was criticised for various absurdities in the plot. It contains much excellent music, however, as can be heard on Marc Minkowski's recording.

The opera is set in ancient Phrygia. Dardanus, son of Jupiter, is in love with Iphise--daughter of his enemy, king Teucer--and she with him, though neither is aware of the other's feelings. Teucer plans to marry his daughter to Antenor, his new ally. Dardanus consults the magician, Ismenor, who gives him a magic wand. Disguised as Ismenor, Dardanus is visited first by Antenor, then by Iphise, who confesses her love. Dardanus reveals his identity; Iphise flees. Captured in battle, Dardanus lies in prison. He learns that he will be rescued but his saviour will die. Iphise has a narrow escape and it's Antenor, already mortally wounded by Dardanus's soldiers, who is the victim. Teucer is won over, and all ends happily.

After a Prologue for Venus and Cupid, the latter ushering in the story of a warrior 'enslaved in my court', Iphise is discovered alone. …

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