Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Suites from Zaïs & Hippolyte et Aricie
Michi Gaigg, direction
Zaïs, ballet héroique RCT 60 (1748) &
Hippolyte et Aricie, tragédie en musique RCT 43 (1733, 1742, 1757)
(Capriccio / Crystal Classics 2011)
[…] the Austrian recording scores with the colour of the flutes and violins in the higher range. Michi Gaigg prefers silvery sounds and courtly strictness. But she also has an eye for subtle nuances, especially in the “Ritournelle” from “Hippolyte et Aricie”. This fugato combines grace and clumsiness, making it impossible to unravel, but leading straight to the listener’s heart.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Jan Brachmann, 8 September 2011
Caring for details
[…] Every recording of the L’Orfeo Barockorchester is characterised by a love of detail, musical brilliance and temperament. With their latest release Michi Gaigg and her musicians ventured into more familiar realms of repertoire. […] This is music in which the special qualities of L’Orfeo are best demonstrated. The overtures and numerous dance movements of the two suites are rendered here in vivid colours.
[…] L’Orfeo’s playing combines a poignant approach to Baroque dance rhythms with a sensual sound. The overture to Zais, depicting the chaos preceding the creation of the universe, benefit beautifully from these aspects. Rameau proves himself to be ahead of his time with these works and his interpreters follow suit. The listener finds suites here characterised by courtly elegance, bucolic folklore and a considerable amount of finesse and compositional vision. Michi Gaigg and the L’Orfeo Barockorchester present these aspects with great intensity.
Fono Forum, Arnd Richter, July 2011
[…] The result is once again contagious: Michi Gaigg and her „orpheic“ colleagues render these miniature orchestral dances with lilting enthusiasm and rhythmical precision and clarity. The long gone glitter and glory of life at the French court is vividly brought back to life […].
Attila Csampai, HIFISTATEMENT netmagazine, 15 June 2011 / stereoplay 26 May 2011
A contemporary of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s is reputed to have said the following concerning his first stage work „Hippolyte et Aricie“: „This work contains enough material for ten operas.“ Rameau was already 50 at the time. The first performance caught a dash and left Rameau a wealthy man. The work contains floating gods, scenes from the underworld or from the realms of bad dreams and storms. A fresh approach, an unquenchable passion, vivid colours and dancelike buoyancy is needed to make this music work for today’s audience. Michi Gaigg and the L’Orfeo Barockorchester have exactly what it takes in this release of orchestral suites from „Hippolyte et Aricie“ and „Zais“.
mdr Figaro, Beatrice Schwartner, 16 May 2011
The L’Orfeo Barockorchester directed by Michi Gaigg again plays as noble as can be The finest detail, often hidden behind a shimmering surface, is highlighted. The ensemble was founded 15 years ago and although it was won nearly all possible awards it doesn’t seem to slacken its pace by any means. Rameau seldomly comes across this fresh and crisp. A thunderstorm or even rampaging furies thrill the listener with amused blissfulness.
Aachener Nachrichten, Armin Kaumanns, 7 May 2011
[…] What is this spezial sound then that makes L’Orfeo so unmistakable? If one listens to the newest release of Telemann’ Orpheus one is immediately struck by the direct, even harsh sound in the first three bars. The noisy gut strings and early winds are treated as colours to a larger picture. At the same time the approach is fresh and eloquently formulated, with pointed rhythms, balanced string playing with the strong bass, transparent middle parts and warm blending violins. An earthy sound prevails notwithstanding the lightness of the playing. Michi Gaigg seems to approach all music from a sense of movement. […]
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Jenny Berg, 6 May 2011