OP2285. DAVID & JONATHAS (Charpentier), w.Christie Cond. Les Arts Florissants Ensemble; Gérard Lesne, Monique Zanetti, Dominique Visse, Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, Jean-François Gardiel, Bernard Deletré, Véronique Gens, etc. (Germany) 2-Harmonia Mundi 1901289/90, recorded 1988, Slipcase Set, w.Elaborate 99pp. Libretto-brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 794881421329
"Charpentier's DAVID ET JONATHAS (David and Jonathan) is an opera in five acts and a prologue by the French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier, first performed at the Collège Louis-le-Grand, Paris, on 28 February 1688. The libretto, by Father François Bretonneau, is based on the Old Testament story of the friendship between David and Jonathan.
Although the opera takes the form of a typical French tragédie en musique it has also been referred to as a tragédie biblique because of its Biblical subject matter. DAVID ET JONATHAS was first performed at a Jesuit college in combination with a spoken drama in Latin, Saul, by Father Étienne Chamillard. Each act of the opera was followed by one act from the play.
Charpentier's work was so successful, it was reprised at other Jesuit colleges in 1706, 1715 and 1741. The opera received its American premiere in Baltimore in 2005 and a recording in Australia in 2009. A staging at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, France, with William Christie as musical director, was filmed in 2012.”
“Long a leading figure in the early music performance movement, William Christie has been especially influential in restoring opera and French music to their rightful places in the Baroque repertory. He is the harpsichordist and leader of the ensemble Les Arts Florissants. Christie was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1944, and studied piano and organ as a young man. He attended Harvard, graduating with an art history degree and switching to music only for graduate study at the Yale School of Music. His teacher there was the pioneering harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick, best known for his rediscovery and thorough exploration of the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Christie moved to France in 1971; eventually he not only became a French citizen, but also was named a member of the Legion of Honor. Many early music performers have done stints in the contemporary-music world (and vice versa); between 1971 and 1975, as a member of the Five Centuries Ensemble, Christie participated in premieres of work by such notables as Luciano Berio and Morton Feldman. Between 1976 and 1980 he played keyboards for the early music group Concerto Vocale, led by René Jacobs. In 1979, Christie founded Les Arts Florissants, an ensemble devoted to French, English, and Italian music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The group has done much to revive the difficult genre of French Baroque opera, with its arcane declamatory style; working with leading stage designers and choreographers, Christie has had special success with the operas of Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Jean-Philippe Rameau, rightful mainstays of the operatic repertory in their own times but almost forgotten since then. Since 1994, Christie and Les Arts Florissants have recorded for the major French label Erato, and the contract was renewed in 1999. That year saw the release of the Les Arts Florissants recording of Monteverdi's magnificent VESPRO DELLA BEATA VERGINE (the Vespers of 1610), and recordings of Mozart, Caldara, Lully and other composers were in the works.”
- Keith Johnson, allmusic.com