Sabine Devieilhe – Le Grand Théâtre de l’Amour
with Samuel Boden, tenor; Aimery Lefèvre, baritone
Le Jeune Chœur de Paris
Alexis Kossenko, conductor
Sabine Devieilhe is one of the best musical discoveries of recent years: her crystalline and flexible voice, her pure timbre and the exquisite taste with which she sings the most arduous pieces are simply fabulous, but, even more that these precious qualities, it is her perfect understanding of music and texts that allow her to offer an intense rendition of every role she performs.
These features are easily recognizable in her debut album, Le Grand Théâtre de l’Amour (“the great theatre of love”), centred on arias and orchestral pieces composed by Jean-Philippe Rameau. As Devieilhe explains in the booklet notes of this wonderful recording, «this programme is conceived along the lines of a small-scale opera, giving me a broad range of colours to choose from and highly demanding instrumentation with which to work in the dramatic role of tearful lover». The love theme is developed through twenty-three pieces taken from fifteen operas, of which the most famous are Castor et Pollux, Les Indes Galantes, Hippolyte et Aricie and Pygmalion. The album includes also three world premiere recordings from the operas Les fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour, Les Paladins and Anacréon.
Devieilhe is simply perfect, both vocally and technically. Her clear and well trained voice and her absolute control of breath and coloratura allows her to move without effort in the arduous Baroque repertoire. I recommend you, for its extraordinary result, to hear Aux langueurs d’Apollon from Platée, an aria that, even if it does not exhaust all the aspects of Devieilhe’s singing, offers an excellent sample of her virtuosity. The soprano proves also to have great dramatic awareness, moving smoothly from more serious roles to light-hearted ones, giving the album a variety that makes it pleasant and surprising. Despite her young age, Devieilhe has no difficult to shine in the Baroque repertoire; not by chance, she recorded also the complete version of Castor et Pollux.
The orchestra Les Ambassadeurs plays on period instruments and is directed by Alexis Kossenko. It is not only a fine accompaniment to the singer, but has also the possibility to show off in some instrumental pieces, occasionally interposed to the arias.