Album: Rameau, Les Indes Galantes/Christophe Rousset, (Ambroisie)

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The Independent Culture

Paris took its own sweet time to warm to Les Indes Galantes. Second of Rameau's operas to be staged (Samson was never performed), this dazzling, improbable fantasy was revised five times between 1735 and 1761, when the Jean-Henri Hemsch harpsichord used in this recording was built. Rameau's keyboard transcription inevitably sounds thin and unidiomatic, though Rousset's rhythmic acuity and sensual phrasing are impressive. A movement-by-movement guide to the Grand Concerts is illuminating.