Mouret

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COMPOSERS: Mouret
LABELS: Erato Musifrance
WORKS: Les amours de Ragonde
PERFORMER: Michel Verschaeve, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Sophie Marin-Degor; Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski
CATALOGUE NO: 2292 45823-2 DDD
When Mouret composed his extravagant comic divertissement, Les Amours de Ragonde, in 1714, he was a young Provençal in Paris of enormous promise. Two or three movements of this attractive, at times hysterical, farce will furnish the most doubtful listener with ample evidence of

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a melodic and theatrical talent which approaches genius. Composed for the insatiable entertainer the Duchess de Maine, the escapades of Ragonde, a determined vieille paysanne who gets her man, is a delight from beginning to end.

Much of the credit must go to Marc Minkowski and his singers and players. Those who know his enormously successful realisation of Charpentier’s Le malade imaginaire will understand that the theatrical

and real are well to the fore in this performance. Michel Verschaeve,

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en travestie, is a spectacular Ragonde and Jean-Paul Fouchécourt makes an attractive, appropriately vapid Colin, but each member of the cast turns in a performance of distinction. Excellently recorded and well presented, this issue is essential listening for anyone interested in Baroque opera. Jan Smaczny