A year before she retired from the Opéra, Marie Fel took part in the 1757 revival of Rameau’s Les surprises de l’Amour
, originally written for a production in Madame de Pompadour’s private theatre at Versailles in 1748. For this revival, Rameau replaced the role of Amour (Cupid) with a special part for Marie. Here she plays the Siren Parthenope, who devises a plan to trick her rival, the Muse Urania. In a divertissement beginning ‘Accordez vos sons et vos pas’, Parthenope summons her attendant Sirens to cast a spell on her lyre that will make the severe Urania sensitive to love. This scene provides Rameau with an opportunity to indulge in some colourful orchestral effects, notably the use of multiple-stopped pizzicato chords to represent the plucking of the lyre.
from notes by Graham Sadler © 2014