Veronique Gens - Passion - Gramophone
Gens is in thrilling voice. She has the knack – harder, surely, in miscellaneous pieces than in a complete opera – of instantly getting to the heart of a character. This is apparent from the first number, from Armide, where, abetted by solemn low oboes, the sorceress Arcabonne addresses her entombed brother. In an extended scene from Proserpine (tracks 8 and 9), Ceres laments the abduction of her daughter, then furiously commands her followers to burn the crops of which she is the goddess: Gens enacts all this vividly and powerfully. The Ensemble Les Surprises provide variety with a few short orchestral pieces; a special word of praise for Juliette Guignard’s soulful gamba in Lully’s ‘Sarabande Dieux des Enfers’. Warmly recommended.