Boismortier's Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse

Label Château de Versailles Spectacles
Coproduction Château de Versailles Spectacles, Le Concert Spirituel
Recorded from December 22 to 23, 2020 at the Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles
as part of the season of Château de Versailles Spectacles

Released on September 23, 2022

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In 1743, two years before Rameau's Platée, Boismortier created an extraordinarily modern and zany "comic ballet": Don Quixote chez la Duchesse. In the course of a delirious plot, Cervantes' hero meets monsters, enchanters, princesses and Japanese: all pretexts for dances and daring and offbeat choruses. The musical beauty is next to a parodic and irreverent comedy. A work of choice for Hervé Niquet, who animates his Concert Spirituel with unparalleled energy!

Mathias Vidal
Jean-Gabriel Saint-Martin
Chantal Santon-Jeffery
Nicolas Brooymans
Camille Poul
Charles Barbie

Choir & Orchestra Le Concert Spirituel
Hervé Niquet Music director

But what was the idea of recording Boismortier's Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse a second time? You should know that I opened the existence of Le Concert Spirituel with this work in September 1987, during the Fragonard exhibition at the Grand Palais, thirty-five years ago. In 1996, we recorded it at the Arsenal de Metz during the production that took us from the Opéra Comique to the Opéra de Nancy. Then, at the request of Laurent Brunner and the Montpellier Festival, Shirley and Dino's staging delighted thousands of spectators. And during the last revival at the Château de Versailles, Covid obliged us to lock ourselves up at the Opéra Royal to "put in a box" this brilliant condensation of humour and poetry.
Twenty-six springs separate our two recordings. The instrumentarium has improved, the singers have become accustomed to the latest stylistic discoveries, and the collective practice has become sharper. These years of musical life together allow us to be even more jovial and insolent in order to make Boismortier's genial and unequalled madness alive and brilliant.
This man is indestructible and galvanizes us with good humor. This comic opera is an antidepressant without side effects. You can abuse it!

Hervé Niquet, June 2022