This disc can only be the epitome of what true musical excitement is all about. When it was first released ten years ago, the direct style and astonishing orchestral playing left all critics reeling and listening to it today after a decade, the excitement remains a distinct part of the whole listening experience.
As soon as the first notes of "Les Fêtes Polymnie" blare out of the speakers, you know that something special is about to unfold. Rousset conducts with an evident passion for this wonderful music as is evidenced in his interpretations of "Les Indes galantes", "Zais", "Castor et Pollux", "Zoroastre" and "Dardanus". Not that the other pieces are in any way inferior but these really stand out for brilliance and sheer exhilaration.
Decca's recording is, as usual, magnificent with just the right balance between strings, woodwind and percussion. Unlike other L'Oiseau-Lyre discs released lately, this issue is well filled clocking in at almost 70 minutes. I really cannot recommend it more and with music of such beauty and invention, this has to be one of my records of the year.
Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech