Rameau: The Sound of Light – An Anthology of the Baroque master's music

Reviewed on Thu 18 Dec, 2014

Popular prejudice notwithstanding, eccentricity is not the peculiar prerogative of the English, as this delightfully Gallic celebration of Rameau’s occasionally whimsical muse demonstrates. Teodor Currentzis, a man clearly in touch with his own sense of whimsy (“I wish to meet parts of myself that I do not know yet”), champions Rameau as the prescient inventor of minimalism and the avant-garde; listening to 'Essayons du brillant …' from Platée, with its astringent instrumental opening and cackling aria given suitably bonkers delivery by soprano Nadine Koutcher, it is tempting to agree. But elsewhere Rameau yields less amenably to Currentzis’s characterisation: if colour and drama and a sense of flamboyant excess are evident throughout these mostly operatic overtures and scenes, well that’s just Baroque opera for you. Currentzis pushes his able MusicAeterna band to the limit in search of novelty, but Rameau’s glorious sense of the theatrical shines through anyway.
–Mark Walker