Johann Christoph Vogel's La Toison d’or 

Coproduction Palazzetto Bru Zane - Centre de musique romantique française / Staatstheater
Nürnberg / Centre de musique baroque de Versailles
Production 2013 - Palazzetto Bru Zane - Centre de musique romantique française

Édition Symétrie & Palazzetto Bru Zane sous la direction scientifique de Cyril Bongers

With Glossa
Distribution Harmonia Mundi

2 formats available: compact disc and book-disc

Release 22 October 2013

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Choc Classica

Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel continue their exploration of French operas of the pre-revolutionary or post-revolutionary period, most of which have fallen into a deep forgetfulness. If some opus leaves an uncertain taste, other realisations reveal a charm and real musical qualities that deserve reflections. This is certainly the case with La Toison d'or, one of the two operas ever written by Johan Christian Vogel, a German composer based in France.

Hervé Niquet, conductor

Marie Kalinine: Médée
Jean-Sébastien Bou: Jason
Judith Van Wanroij: Hipsiphile
Jennifer Borghi: La Sybille
Hrachuhi Bassenz: Calciope
Martin Nyvall: Arcas
Franziska Kern: Première suivante
Dominique Lepeudry: Deuxième suivante

Staatstheater Nürnberg Choir
(Tarmo Vaask, director)
Le Concert Spirituel

Recorded at the Staatstheater Nürnberg (Germany), during the Internationale Gluck-
Opern-Festspiele Nürnberg (26 & 27 July 2012)
Engineered and produced by Manuel Mohino
With the Bayerischer Rundfunk / Studio Franken

The composer Johann Christoph Vogel (1756-1788) is in many ways a truly romantic figure. Contemporary of Mozart, he died - like him - prematurely. He was tormented by his natural state of mind, bitter about his failures, and he looked for an escape from his ill-being in alcohol. If he was blamed for his excesses, it was at the piano that he justified himself by performing a piece full of passion and irony:"Is it with lemonade that we make such music?" Looking to the future, he found his model in Gluck: as soon as he moved to Paris in 1776, he took notice of this author's scores and tried to follow his footsteps by injecting ever more energy, pathetic and great impulses into his own operas.

Created in 1786, La Toison d'or bears witness to this search for an expressive art - almost expressionist - which imposes a total commitment on the performers and an intensity sometimes untenable on the audience. The heroine, Medea, lets her despair and rage burst forth with accents that are already those of the Cherubini Medea, created a decade later. The score of La Toison d'or is the result of a long silence (the last performance took place in 1788) and allows us to get to know a writer admired by his contemporaries and by Berlioz himself, eclipsed only by the cabales of more influential artists supported by Marie-Antoinette: Piccinni, Sacchini and Salieri.