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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Jean-Baptiste Lully - L'Orchestre du Roi Soleil (Jordi Savall)


Composer: Jean-Baptiste Lully
  • (01-08) Le bourgeois gentilhomme, LWV 43
  • (09-19) Le Grand Divertissement Royal de Versailles ("George Dandin"), LWV 38
  • (20-30) Le triomphe d'Alcide ("Alceste"), LWV 50
  • (31) L' Amour médecin, LWV 29: Chaconne

Le Concert des Nations
Jordi Savall, conductor

Date: 1999
Label: Alia Vox




This music, performed by one of today’s premier period-instrument orchestras, gives us a hint of what a gifted 17th-century composer could do with nearly unlimited resources and probably the finest instrumental ensemble in Europe. Lully was fortunate to work for a king who loved and generously supported music, and who financed the famous and permanent in-house “King’s Band of 24 Violins”–to which could be added any number of other instruments, from winds to percussion to brass to plucked strings. Lully’s working association with Molière produced revolutionary changes in stage music during the 1670s, and this recording provides a generous musical feast drawn from the Molière/Lully collaboration (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme), as well as Lully’s suite from his opera Alceste and a suitably royal set of dances (Le Divertissement Royal). Listening to this thoroughly delightful music–perfectly complemented in warm, resonant sound–makes you think of all kinds of descriptive words, the kind that cause editors to reach for their pencils (or delete keys), but that writers always try to sneak through. And since I’m the editor, I’ll go ahead and say it: This is lovely, lissome, luscious Lully.

-- David Vernier, ClassicsToday

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Jean-Baptiste Lully (28 November 1632 – 22 March 1687) was an Italian-born French composer, instrumentalist, and dancer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is credited with the invention in the 1650s of the French overture, a form used extensively in the Baroque and Classical eras. Lully's music is known for its power, liveliness in its fast movements and its deep emotional character in its slower movements. Lully, who disavowed any Italian influence in French music of the period, is considered a master of the French baroque style.


Jordi Savall (born August 1, 1941) is a Catalan conductor, viol player, and composer. He has been one of the major figures in the field of Western early music since the 1970s, largely responsible for reviving the use of viol family instruments (notably the viola da gamba) in contemporary performance and recording. His characteristic repertoire features Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music, although he has occasionally ventured into the Classical and even the Romantic periods. Savall's discography includes more than 100 recordings on EMI Classics, Astrée, and his own label, Alia Vox.


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