Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Clerambault
LABELS: Harmonia Mundi
WORKS: Pyrame et Tisbé; La muse de l’opéra, ou les Caractères lyriques; La mort d’Hercule; Orphée
PERFORMER: Noémi Rime (soprano), Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (tenor), Nicolas Rivenq (bass); Les Arts Florissants/William Christie
CATALOGUE NO: HMA 1901329 DDD (1990/94)
Clérambault was a principal beneficiary of the Italianate leavening of French dramatic music after the death of Lully. Still clearly French in sensibility, his melodic style has all the benefits of the Italian manner without an ounce of excess. Each one of these cantatas is a masterpiece, but for sheer, outgoing verve, La muse de l’opéra is the winner. Noémi Rime’s virtuosically feline performance of this camp extravaganza is the high point on a CD that is undiluted delight. The singers and players have this music in their blood and never let the idiomatic approach get in the way of genuine expression. My only complaint was a missing text in the notes for the last number and a half. Jan Smaczny