Mozart - La Betulia Liberata - Les Talens Lyriques

I arrived in Paris during a heatwave, the day after France's warmest temperature of 45.9°C was recorded in Gallargues-le-Montueux on 28th June 2019.

Our Eurostar had been slightly delayed, but we managed to make it to Colline d'Asie before it closed to enjoy nem and pho in an authentically humid climate! After dinner I had arranged for Will and I to meet a friend who had been with us on the tour of Southeast Asia last year, and another friend of mine from the Festspiel Orchester Göttingen was going to meet us too. Both play the violin: one was playing with Le Concert d'Astrée with the harpsichordist Emmanuelle Haïm, and the other was playing Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride at the Théâtre Des Champs Elysées. We met near Montmartre and enjoyed cold beer outside in the warm evening air.

It had only been a few days since we had last been in Paris to perform La Betulia Liberata with Les Talens Lyriques. We were back to record the same piece with the same ensemble. We returned to La Seine Musicale on Île Seguin for our first recording session on the evening of Sunday 30th June 2019 and we recorded in one of the purpose-built RIFFX Studios.


The recording session began with the Overture (with natural trumpets in D). The director and producer worked swiftly and efficiently and they were very decisive with any additional takes they requested. After the Overture we quickly recrooked into C and the group recorded our next (and final) movement, 1-14: Aria, Achior: Terribile d'aspetto. Again, this all happened very efficiently and the standard of playing remained to be very high. After just one hour, we had recorded both of the movements involving trumpets, and we were done.

It has been a such a pleasure to work with Les Talens Lyriques so regularly this month. We have had a lot of fun during these fantastic projects in Dortmund, Halle and Paris. Les Talens Lyriques' projects are always interesting, the people are always friendly and professional, and the standard of performance is truly great. It is a lovely group to work for in so many ways and everything is very well organised. We had initially been booked for two days of recording and when we found that we had recorded everything after the first session, the production manager simply contacted the travel agent to rearrange our Eurostar for one day sooner than planned. It means that I'll see my wife on our first wedding anniversary, and Will can surprise his family by getting home one day earlier too. We have enjoyed so many amazing projects and trips this month but we've also both spent more time than usual away from home, so it really meant a lot to us that they offered to reorganise our travel home for one day sooner. I look forward to our next projects with them, later this year.

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Russell Gilmour
Russell Gilmour Blog
writing on music, photography, engraving, travel and life as a freelance professional musician.