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Racine, Jean (1639-1699)  

Jean Racine

born: 21 December 1639
died: 21 April 1699
country: France

Jean Racine (1639–1699) had a knowledge of Greek and Latin from childhood—a fact that is pertinent to a text not actually by Racine, but translated from the Latin by him. The poet was brought up in the doctrine of Jansenism, a controversial offshoot of conventional Roman Catholicism that was sometimes persecuted, sometimes tolerated by the Vatican during the poet’s lifetime. Racine’s attraction to the world of the theatre was counterpointed by his desire to withdraw and pursue a more spiritual life. He was a protégé of Molière for a time and then a deadly rival of the older Pierre Corneille, gaining ascendancy by 1670 and specializing in female characters such as Andromaque, Phèdre and Athalie, the latter for a religious drama written after he had retired from the theatre. La Bruyère quipped that Corneille portrayed men as they should be, and Racine as they actually are.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2013

'Britten: Phaedra & other works' (CDH55225)
Britten: Phaedra & other works
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDH55225  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service  
'Fauré: Requiem & other choral works' (CDA30008)
Fauré: Requiem & other choral works
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99Buy by post £8.50 CDA30008  Hyperion 30th Anniversary series  
'Fauré: Requiem & other sacred music' (CDA66292)
Fauré: Requiem & other sacred music
'Panis angelicus' (CDA66669)
Panis angelicus
'Poulenc: The Complete Songs' (CDA68021/4)
Poulenc: The Complete Songs
MP3 £23.99FLAC £23.99ALAC £23.99Buy by post £30.00 CDA68021/4  4CDs for the price of 3  
On other labels
'Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2' (SIGCD263)
Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00ALAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00 SIGCD263  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Complete works available for download
Phaedra, Op 93 Jean Rigby (contralto), The Nash Ensemble, Lionel Friend (conductor)
GABRIEL FAURÉ  (1845-1924)
Cantique de Jean Racine, Op 11 Corydon Singers, Matthew Best (conductor), John Scott (organ)
Cantique de Jean Racine, Op 11 Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor), Iain Simcock (organ)
FRANCIS POULENC  (1899-1963)
Hymne, FP144 Neal Davies (bass), Graham Johnson (piano)
Hymne, FP144 Jonathan Lemalu (baritone), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
Cantique de Jean Racine, Op 11 (Fauré)
Hymne, FP144 (Poulenc)
Phaedra, Op 93 (Britten)
Sombre nuit, aveugles ténèbres  First line to Hymne, FP144 (Poulenc)
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