RAMEAU in CARACAS
CHOC Award of Classica Magazine
Bruno Procopio met the Simón Bolívar Orchestra by a recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Lara St. John (Ancalagon). Bruno Procopio could find the eloquence of musicians needed to bring Rameau’s music alive. The musicians of the Simón Bolívar Orchestra display a stupefying discipline and mastery of style, and show a contagious energy and a inexhaustible enthusiasm. Bruno Procopio offers this exotic experience reveals Rameau’s shameless inventiveness as rarely before.
“The orchestra, in the hands of Bruno Procopio, frolics about in the thorniest garden in Baroque repertoire. […] You won’t believe your ears. This miracle comes all the way from Venezuela. The firmness of phrasing, the mastery of ornamentation, the sparing use of vibrato, the perfection of balance, the lilt of the minuets, the whirligig of the passepieds, the naturalness of the style… […]
LE FIGARO – Top 3 CDs of the week
Bruno Procopio delivers an electrifying spectrum of Rameau’s overtures and ballets with the Soloists of the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela.
The result is astonishing. Those who swear by the sonority of old instruments will continue on their mistaken path. Shame, because these interpretations exhibit a goldsmith’s precision and a theatricality. Depth without heaviness, and elegance without pedantry. There is figurative and rhythmic sensuality that is never rushed. Everything is here…
LES ECHOS – Top 3 CDs of the week
Rameau played by a modern symphony orchestra? Bruno Procopio’s project seems a bit out of place. Especially because the fifty musicians he chose are from the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela: they’re used to playing Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Mahler but certainly not Rameau. However the result is a triumph, and the combination of the most astonishing. French baroque composer and these young musicians is a disc that one listens to again and again.
Bruno Procopio, a shrewd connoisseur of baroque repertoire, taught the orchestra the proper style, gestures and sound. Precise articulation, limited vibrato, unequal rhythms: the transformation is impressive. This trip to Caracas proves one of the best remedies against the current economic gloom.
“From the first impatient Ds of the overture to Zoroastre, one knows that the gamble has paid off: this Rameau will leave our head spinning. But beyond this contagious energy and boundless enthusiasm, which are already very appreciable (and rare!), the musicians of the Simón Bolívar Orchestra display a stupefying discipline and mastery of style, allowing then to sketch a gracious passepied and keep their place in a chaconne’s maze.”
La Libre, Belgium
“It may seem incongruous at times, but the result is often quite successful. Procopio’s interpretations are notable for their excellent tempi, refined nuance, clean articulations, and exuberant delivery.”
“The result is sumptuous, magical. It’s a real bombshell. It’s not difficult to predict Bruno Procopio’s future: resplendent with all the multicoloured richness of “diversity”.
Bruno Procopio’s objective was to bring French Baroque music to Venezuela – heretofore unknown to the country – while moulding the orchestra to his taste.
The strings, winds and percussions in this recording demonstrate apparent ease in all the technical requirements – in the execution of Rameau’s famous “rocket passages” in particular – while offering a thoroughly homogeneous colour in the tutti passages. Both in the overtures and the various dances on offer, the orchestra sounds fantastic.
Conducting the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Bruno Procopio offers a unusual and fascinating vision of this repertoire that is so popular in Europe. Certainly, listening to this CD is an energising experience.
Le Soir, Belgium
Rameau was an orchestrator of genius. After Minkowski, a traditional orchestra makes the case, one without cultural baggage: the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, under the baton of Bruno Procopio. The rhythms sizzle, and the colours explode with inspiring enthusiasm. It’s a delicious appetizer for the upcoming Rameau anniversary year of 2014.