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Anacréon

composer
1754
author of text

 
Scene 1
The aged poet Anacreon, alone in his gardens designed for amorous intrigue, is enjoying the cool shades and breezes scented with myrtle blossom. He has organised a celebration for later that day, the reasons for which he has kept secret, and at which he asked two of the young charges at his poetry academy, Bathyllus (Batile) and Chloe, to perform some of his love poems. He is amused by the two youngsters’ growing affection for each other and reflects with pleasure on the discreet role he had played in nurturing their love. To help their love to blossom openly would be his crowning achievement.

Scene 2
Chloe has been enjoying practising the verse Anacreon has written for her and arrives hoping to discover the reasons both for the forthcoming festivities and the inspiration behind such beautiful poetry. Still keeping his intentions hidden, Anacreon avoids answering and instead flatters and teases her, saying that he has been inspired by Cupid (Amour) himself. Misunderstanding, Chloe believes that Anacreon has fallen in love. Who is the lucky girl who had inspired such romantic and amorous feelings? Charmed by her confusion, he replies that it is in fact she who has been chosen by Cupid and that the celebrations are, in fact, to be a wedding…!

Scene 3
Alone, and realising only now that she has feelings and hopes for a future with Bathyllus, Chloe appeals to Cupid to save her.

Scene 4
Bathyllus arrives, so engrossed in learning Anacreon’s poem that he is unaware of Chloé’s distress. He performs it to Chloe who, on hearing its sentiments of love, is reduced to tears. Fearing that they are to be separated forever, she tells a disbelieving Bathyllus of Anacreon’s plans; the poem she is to sing only seems to confirm Anacreon’s intentions and her fears. Inspired by the verses and by their imminent separation, Chloe tells Bathyllus of her feelings for the first time. Before he can reply, they are interrupted by the arrival of the guests and the celebrations begin.

Scene 5
Anacreon and his young Theonian followers sing of the benefits of a life of pleasure. He calls on Chloe to perform her verse. Fearful and embarrassed, the two lovers struggle to explain that their friendship has developed into something greater. At last, Anacreon reveals that he has been teasing them; his purpose has been to make the friends acknowledge their love for each other and, by coming between them, to test the strength of their feelings. Overjoyed, the young lovers are united.

Scene 6
The festivities—an enactment of a Bacchanalian celebration—begin with dancing and with Chloe’s songs of the pleasures of love. The merriment concludes with a chorus in praise of Bacchus and Cupid, the gods of wine and love; may they reign forever!

Jonathan Williams © 2015

Recordings

Rameau: Anacréon
Studio Master: SIGCD402Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Scene 1 No 1: Ritournelle
Track 1 on SIGCD402 [1'14] Download only
Scene 1 No 2. Air accompagné: Mirthes fleuris, naissant feuillage (Anacréon)
Track 2 on SIGCD402 [2'26] Download only
Scene 2. Récitatif: Vous nous cachez l'objet (Chloé/Anacréon)
Track 3 on SIGCD402 [4'49] Download only
Scene 3. Air accompagné: Tendre amour! (Chloé)
Track 4 on SIGCD402 [3'03] Download only
Scene 4 No 1. Récitatif, Ariette & Récitatif: Ciel, c'est Batile … Hélas! – Des zéphyrs, que Flore rappelle – Dieux! vous pleurez! (Chloé/Batile)
Track 5 on SIGCD402 [3'42] Download only
Scene 4 No 2. Air accompagné & Récitatif: Mille fleurs parfument les airs – Dieux! ces chants ne sont pas pour moi (Chloé/Batile)
Track 6 on SIGCD402 [2'33] Download only
Scene 5 No 1. Air accompagné avec chœur: Régnez (Anacréon/Jeunes Théoniens et Théoniennes)
Track 7 on SIGCD402 [0'46] Download only
Scene 5 No 2: Airs vifs I et II pour les jeunes Théoniens et Théoniennes
Track 8 on SIGCD402 [2'47] Download only
Scene 5 No 3. Air accompagné: Des caprices du sort (Anacréon)
Track 9 on SIGCD402 [1'37] Download only
Scene 5 No 4: Air pour les jeunes Théoniennes
Track 10 on SIGCD402 [3'01] Download only
Scene 5 No 5. Récitatif: C'est lorsque vous chantez (Anacréon/Chloé/Batile)
Track 11 on SIGCD402 [2'37] Download only
Scene 5 No 6. Ariette: Qu'Anacréon dans ce séjour (Batile)
Track 12 on SIGCD402 [1'13] Download only
Scene 6 No 01: Air pour les Bacchantes
Track 13 on SIGCD402 [2'11] Download only
Scene 6 No 02: Gavottes I et II pour les Égipans et les Bacchantes
Scene 6 No 03. Ariette: Quand l'amour enflamme nos cœurs (Chloé)
Track 15 on SIGCD402 [2'23] Download only
Scene 6 No 04: Pantomime pour Silène et deux Bacchantes
Scene 6 No 05: Airs I et II pour Silène et deux Bacchantes
Scene 6 No 06. Ariette: L'amour, riant et sans bandeau (Chloé)
Track 18 on SIGCD402 [3'28] Download only
Scene 6 No 07: Tambourins I et II
Track 19 on SIGCD402 [2'00] Download only
Scene 6 No 08. Trio: Chantons Bacchus (Chloé/Batile/Anacréon)
Track 20 on SIGCD402 [1'00] Download only
Scene 6 No 09. Chœur: Chantons Bacchus (Chloé/Batile/Anacréon/Égipans/Bacchantes)
Track 21 on SIGCD402 [1'34] Download only
Scene 6 No 10: Contredanse
Track 22 on SIGCD402 [2'11] Download only

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