After recent successes obtained by their recordings devoted to the sacred music which is so close to them (Bouteiller, Striggio, Le Prince), Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel return to another of their great specialities, the tragédie lyrique, with a new large-scale operatic recovery. Marie Kalinine, Judith Van Wanroij and Jean-Sébastien Bou embody to perfection those mythological figures so dear to French 18th century audiences. This opera will definitely surprise modern-day listeners by its clear Germanic influence which arises, ultimately, from the composer’s nationality!
A contemporary of Mozart, Johann Christoph Vogel also died at an early age. Forward looking in approach, this composer of a tormented disposition, sought to extend the operatic revolution undertaken by Gluck in the 1770s. First performed in 1786 at the Opéra de Paris, 'La Toison d’or' reveals that search for an expressive art which demanded an all-embracing involvement from the performers and supplied the music with a sometimes unbearable intensity for audiences of the time.
The heroine Médée allows her despair to break out with the same emphasis as in the later representation of the character by Cherubini in 1797. It is no wonder that Berlioz considered Vogel as one of the pioneers of French Romanticism.