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Dip Your Ears: No. 273 (Rameau’s Glorious Temple)

available at Amazon
Le Temple de la Gloire (1745)
Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale, Soloists
PhilharmoniaBP, 2018

Neglected but fun, this is Rameau for the whole family!

In 2018, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, led by early music expert Nicholas McGegan out of Berkeley, put on Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera-ballet Le Temple de la Gloire (to Voltaire’s text) which you’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that it is surrounded by editorial controversy: To play the moralist original 1745 version or the revised-for-entertainment 1746 version, that is apparently the editor’s question. It’s the former, here, but even French baroque-opera aficionados might not care particularly, given the amount of topsy-turvy musical gayety – some of his very best – that this Rameau work contains. The Californian forces give it a lively, very live (literally; lots of applause) reading: Light, over-the-top fun. Careful: the thick, informative booklet, not affixed to the digipack, will plonk on your feet upon opening the 2-CD set. The (only?!) available rival recording is on Ricercar, with Guy van Waas; Jean-Claude Malgoire’s pioneering recording hasn’t made the jump to the digital age.

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