One of the first great masters of the orchestra, Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) composed a long line of richly—even radically—textured operas and ballets.

One of the first great masters of the orchestra, Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) composed a long line of richly—even radically—textured operas and ballets. The unconventional instrumentation and daring harmonies of his creations make them sound fresh even to modern ears. Frans Brüggen and his Amsterdam-based Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century have a real feel for the spicy dissonance and notes inégales rhythms of Rameau's French Baroque'n'roll, as shown by a previous Glossa set of ballet suites and further proved here with suites from two operas, the pastorale Naïs and lyric tragedy Zoroastre. As with the other live recordings from Brüggen's "Grand Tour" series on Glossa, this is a top-flight production, from the recording to the packaging and notes. For those for whom the Baroque begins and ends with Bach and Vivaldi, a new world could open up with a record like this. Distributed in the U.S. by Qualiton and in the U.K. by Harmonia Mundi.—BB