A concept album featuring French baroque retellings from Homer's Odyssey by Les Délices with American soprano Clara Rottsolk.
Les Délices has been earning a reputation for innovative programming and for its adaptions of neglected masterpieces to their own own performing forces through a combination of research, improvisation, and composition in historical styles.
Our CD program “Myths & Allegories” will include the world-premiere recording of Thomas-Louis Bourgeois’ Les Sirènes, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre’s dramatic cantata Le Sommeil d’Ulisse (in a new arrangement by me), plus selections from Jean-Féry Rebel’s 1703 opera, Ulysse. Ulysses’ long-faithful wife Penelope pines from afar as symbolized by Rebel’s violin sonata La Fidelle, while Michel Pignolet de Montéclair’s La Guerre imagines Ulysses and his men on the battlefield of the Trojan War.
Artists include Clara Rottsolk (soprano), Debra Nagy (baroque oboe & recorder), Julie Andrijeski (violin), Emily Walhout (viola da gamba), and Michael Sponseller (harpsichord).
We'll record at Harkness Chapel in Cleveland, OH from March 12-14 with the same engineer who created the sound for our debut CD, Peter Nothnagle. Editing will happen through the summer. We anticipate releasing the disc in early November, 2012.
Scholars believe that Homer’s epic was a song sung to a rapt audience before it was ever written down, so it’s fitting that Les Délices returns this story to music with French baroque re-tellings of The Odyssey. The Odyssey’s central theme – and the source of its universal appeal - is the enduring strength of love, hope, and fidelity, and their ability to withstand tests of time and tribulation. With Myths & Allegories, we glimpse Ulysses and his troops in the midst of the Trojan war, and witness their battling storms at sea, shipwreck, the tantalizing allure of siren songs, and magical slumber – all set to music. Eventually, Ulysses overcomes many obstacles to be reunited with his faithful wife Penelope.
Les Délices first performed “Myths & Allegories” on our concert series in May 2011. Critics had an overwhelmingly positive response to this program. Cleveland’s Plain Dealer lauded Les Délices’ “refined energy” and “elegant prowess,” adding that the “marvelous young soprano Clara Rottsolk should soon be a star in the early music world.” ClevelandClassical.com felt this program was “as close to perfection as a concert can come.”
Les Délices was founded in Cleveland in 2006, and brings together artists with national reputations who share a passion for this exquisite yet seldom heard repertoire. In 2009, with the help of a small group of private donors, Les Délices released their debut CD, The Tastes Reunited. NPR’s Harmonia singled out Les Délices first release among the “Top Ten Early Music Discoveries of 2009.” Since then, Les Délices has been delighting audiences with their own self-produced concert season in Cleveland, and with touring performances on prestigious series such as New York City’s Frick Collection and Music Before 1800.
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