Last album of Ensemble Amarillis & Stephanie d'Oustrac
20th Ensemble's album for the Harmonia Mundi label. This new collaboration with mezzo soprano Stéphanie d'Oustrac, a longtime accomplice to the ensemble, is placed under the theme of Madness, this iconic figure of the Baroque period.
After playing alongside Amarillis, Medea, Dido as well as Mary, in two programs and discographic releases, Stéphanie transforms herself this time to embody Madness, who expresses himself in the guise of a character with a thousand facets, excessive as much as extravagant, crossed by the diversity of human passions. It is about making madness heard in all its states and all its outbursts to better explore its different faces and highlight, under the aegis of baroque composers with very diverse inspirations, the characters associated with it.
Diamond - Opera Magazine
3 ❤❤❤– Opera Forum
France Music Record
BBC Music Choice
WHAT THE PRESS SAYS
Diamond of Opera Magazine(2 July 2020)
"Stéphanie d´Oustrac has, long ago, crossed the borders of the baroque lands which saw the blooming of his exceptional talent. She nonetheless remained faithful to this repertoire., as to the groups that accompanied her in the exploration of its different shores, as evidenced by its collaboration with Amarillis. "
Opera Forum, July 2020 - The enjoyment of life
"Stéphanie d´Oustrac, after having played the great heroines of French baroque opera, among many other directories, enjoys conducting thematic recitals and recordings since his "Furious Medea", to "Fury and Ecstasy". The CD that is coming out now fits in this vein, always accompanied by Héloïse Gaillard and her Ensemble Amarillis. At Zenith, our very large mezzo doubles as an exemplary tragedian. Diction, voice length, the blooming presence, the natural make this testimony a jewel. On this occasion, we will happily reread her recent interview "Stéphanie d´Oustrac or The Art of Joy", from which our title is borrowed. "
BBC Music Classical, September 2020 – 5 *****
« This project is mainly about the diverse ways in which ‘Folly’ was dramatised musically in late French Baroque vocal works. Seductive, impish and pining, ‘Folly’ was a woman addled by love, or one who made a man lose himself in love; the mythic Semele, famous for both, was a favourite role. Mezzo-soprano Stéphanie d’Oustrac is dazzling across these various personae, to which she brings not only luscious vocalism but also a blistering intensity. No less impressive is the Ensemble Amarillis, directed by recorder player Héloïse Gaillard; for zest and bustling invention, the band at times outstrips Folly herself. »
Gramophone UK, September 2020- « recording of the month »
The figure of ‘La Folie’, announced here in an impulsive air from André Campra’s Venetian festivals, was a perennial favourite in French Baroque ballets and masquerades. ‘Without love and folly there are no happy moments’, she proclaims in the tart gavotte that ends Stéphanie d’Oustrac’s typically enterprising recital – though the poor women of Purcell’s ‘From silent shades’ and ‘From rosy bow’rs’, driven out of their minds by love, might jabber in protestation. Symbolising the follies and excesses of love, the alluring figure of Semele appears here in solos by Destouches and Marin Marais. South of the Alps, the hopelessly smitten swain pines for his heartless beauty in Handel’s Roman cantata Ah! cruel in my tears, ending with a glimmer – only a glimmer – of hope that his constancy will be rewarded.
Opera world, September October 2020 - CD of the month
“The affect palette of baroque sound art is seldom exhausted as opulent as by Stéphanie d’Oustrac and the Ensemble Amarillis. The French mezzo-soprano Stéphanie d’Oustrac has dedicated her new album to musical images of madness and madness. Being outside of oneself and love are close together in art as in life. In one of La Fontaine's fables, madness is personified, its counterpart, love, has stolen his eyesight in a quarrel, doomed by the gods, to be the guide of the blind man forever. »
The Quinta de Malher, August 2020
«The mere pleasure of enjoying a refined French pronunciation is reason enough to listen to this album. D’Oustrac enjoys his words and expresses his meaning: sighing when they elude, or giving a subtle touch of sexy to her nasal vowels. With its extreme technical precision, especially in the parts of 'Semele', puts us in the center of an emotional whirlwind. This music- by André Cardinal Destouches, Jean-Féry Rebel and Marin Marais - not heard often; created around words and character, is perfect for d’Oustrac. The other themes of the chosen repertoire, of German and English composers, They are also interpreted with a contrapuntal skill that allows all the members of the group to enjoy. Johann David Heinichen's concert in seven parts is the highlight. »
Limelight magazine, September 2020 – 4 ****
« If d’Oustrac seems less secure in the English of Purcell’s “From Rosie bow’rs,” there is no doubting her relish for mood and meaning. She maps out the ecstatic highs and despondent lows of Handel’s robustly Italian-voiced amorous lament “Ah! cruel in my tears ”with affecting, nuanced precision. Throughout, Gaillard leads the ever-alert, accommodating Ensemble Amarillis with sure-footed aplomb. The Sinfonia overture in all but name of Reinhard Keiser’s comic opera Jodelet shows them at their perkiest and most playful, John Eccles’ cut-crystal Ground in F Minor at their most poetically brittle, the miniature Rondeau from Jean-Féry Rebel’s “Air pour l’Amour” their most porcelain-delicate. »
Harmonia Mundi label
AMARILLIS, Artistic direction: Heloïse Gaillard
Heloïse Gaillard / Xavier Miquel: Oboe and flutes
Alice piérot / Liv Heym: Violin
Josephus Cottet: Violin and viola
Laurent Muller: Alto
Laurent Le Chenadec: Bassoon
Ludovic Coutineau: Violone
Violaine Cochard: Harpsichord and conductor
Gauthier Broutin: Cello
Romain Falik: Théorbe
& Stephanie d'Oustrac: Mezzo soprano