Lalande’s Les Fontaines de Versailles & Le Concert d'Esculape
The Boston Early Music Festival's eleventh Baroque opera recording features a chamber opera and other entertainment from the court of Versailles by Michel-Richard de Lalande, on the German label CPO (Classic Produktion Osnabrück). GRAMMY Award–winning Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and Concertmaster Robert Mealy lead the all-star Boston Early Music Festival Vocal and Chamber Ensembles in Lalande’s chamber opera Les Fontaines de Versailles and his secular cantata Le Concert d’Esculape. This release is the follow-up to the Boston Early Music Festival’s 2019 GRAMMY-nominated recording of Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants.
A contemporary of Lully and Couperin, Michel-Richard de Lalande (1657–1726) spent over four decades in service of the French court. Both Les Fontaines de Versailles and Le Concert d’Esculape were written in 1683, the same year the young Lalande took up a new post for King Louis XIV. Written just one year after Louis XIV had moved the French court to Versailles, Les Fontaines de Versailles honors this new era with a meeting of the deities depicted in sculpture around the many fountains adorning the chateau’s gardens. Esculape sings the praises of the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, as tribute to the court doctor who had successfully treated the wife of the King’s eldest son and heir. The CD also features an instrumental selection—Grande Pièce en G-Ré-Sol—from Lalande’s Symphonies pour les soupers du Roy.
"The performances are absolutely superb… [The orchestra's] playing is immensely stylish, light and airy and with nicely sprung rhythms."
Virtual CD Release Party
Enjoy our first-ever Virtual CD Release Party—hosted by Executive Director Kathleen Fay and featuring never-tracks from Lalande’s Les Fontaines de Versailles and Le Concert d’Esculape, video clips from our 2016 staged production of Lalande's Les Fontaines de Versailles, and interviews with special guests from the cast and artistic team.
Artistic Directors Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan discuss the process of creating these stunning productions and recordings, with special insights from GRAMMY-winning Recording Engineer Renate Wolter-Seevers. Cast members Aaron Sheehan, Margot Rood, Jesse Blumberg, and John Taylor Ward share personal stories about the hard work and great fun that goes on backstage and before the recording microphone is turned to the "on" position!