The first work in this boxed set is a recording of Dauvergne’s comic opera, Les Troqueurs [The Fiancée Swappers], first performed in 1753, when it received unanimous praise and was soon adopted as a model to copy. It is a lively work with a rustic tone and popular appeal.
The light-hearted humour, in both the libretto and the score, clearly comes from the style of opera buffa as seen on the stage in Paris at the time, the best known example being La Serva padrona by Pergolesi.
With the colours of the wind instruments and the strings in the ensemble Amarillis, the performance has articulated the contrats and strong emotions expressed in the composition, bringing out all the nuances and subtlety, wich each aria given a particular instrumental colour. The same principle prevailed for the performance of La Double Coquette recorded here.
La Double Coquette, performed and recorded live in December 2014 at the Théâtre de Besançon, in France, combines Dauvergne's comic opera La Coquette trompée (composed in 1753 to a libretto by Charles-Simon Favart shortly after Les Troqueurs) with music written in 2014 by the French composer Gérard Pesson.
The operatic force of the piece is a fine dramatic work in its own right, featuring a diversity of styles and references and involving the instrumentalists in the play and the parody as they conjure up the feelings of the characters. The approach is reminiscent of Rameau's opera Platée, while also suggesting th liveliness to come with Philidor's first compositions. The musicians deceded to revive the 18th century work, but wanted to set it in a different and contemporary universe, a worthy, poetic universe – the realm of Gérard Pesson. The new libretto, written by the poet Pierre Alferi, provided the basis for Gérard Pesson to write a Prologue and the twenty-four Additions composed for the eleven Amarillis musicians playing the same baroque instruments as for Dauvergne's original opera, La Coquette trompée.
La musique de Gérard Pesson et le livret de Pierre Alferi ont fait l'objet d'une commande des Deux Scènes-Scène nationale de Besançon. Éditions de la partition des Troqueurs par le Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. Édition de La Double Coquette : Maison ONA en collaboration avec le CMBV.