Les Fêtes d’Hébé RCT 41 (Vocal Score)

Rameau, Jean-Philippe

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Rameau Les Fêtes d’Hébé RCT 41 (Vocal Score)
Ballet in one prologue and three entrées

The ballet “Les Fêtes d'Hébé” deals with the talents that are usually the subject of the Opéra and are placed at the service of love on stage: poetry and declamation (1st entrée, "La Poésie"), song and harmony (2nd entrée, "La Musique") and finally dance and choreography (3rd entrée, "La Danse"); hence the alternative title of the ballet “Les Talents lyriques”. 

In this ballet opera, Rameau consistently gives priority to the female roles.  The prologue glorifies Hébé, the goddess of youth, and her alliance with love, while “La Poésie” praises the poetress Sappho, who sings almost throughout, and “La Musique” concentrates on the omnipresent princess Iphise; finally, “La Danse” has as its main character the shepherdess Églé, who excels in dance and song.

Since the premiere, the text of the libretto has been perceived as rather unbalanced.  Rameau compensates for these poetic shortcomings with musical boldness and innovations of the highest order.  Be it the overture that throws Lully's model overboard, the varied choral movements such as that of the Thessalians “Que jusqu'au fond de nos grottes profondes”, the virtuoso arias such as Sappho's air “Un jour passé dans les tourments” or the magnificent monologues for Iphise and Tirtée – the originality and beauty of the music testify to incredible ingenuity.

- Rameau Complete Edition (Opera omnia Rameau)

- Keyboard reduction edited on the basis of the full score, published within “Opera Omnia Rameau”

- Contains all versions of the work, some of which are now accessible for the first time

- Study material for stage and concert performances

- Performance material available for hire BA08866-72

Denécheau, Pascal
Baerenreiter Germany

Additional Information

Baroque Period
Mixed Voices