Phèdre (cantata for mezzo-soprano and piano)

Title, Duration, Place, Year, Publisher, Dedicated to, Premiere (performer(s), place, date)

PHÈDRE for mezzo-soprano and piano, 16', Bayonne, 1997, UMP, to Dominique Hellsten, Dominique Hellsten and David Roblou, Purcell Room,London, 14.10.98

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(other version for mezzo-soprano and orchestra)

This cantata is a setting of two great movements from Jean Racine's great tragic book. The first has Phedre's avowal of love to Hippolyte and her outburst of passion, from Act II, Scene 5, and the second is from Act V, Scene 7, where Phedre makes her confession to Thesus. The form makes reference to th 18th century secular cantata. The poignant expressiveness of Racine's text is brought out by the use of continuous recitative, modal and chromatic harmony and figurative images in the trreatment of both vocal part and piano accompaniment.