Comedie et Tragedie Vol.1
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Label: Chandos - Chaconne
Cat No: CHAN0805
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 2nd February 2015
WorksLe Bourgeois Gentilhomme
Les Elemens (The Elements)
ArtistsTempesta di Mare
This is Volume 1 of Tempesta di Mare’s two disc project of late seventeenth century French instrumental music.
‘Suites’ of music were often compiled from stage works that were being performed at the time and presented in the form of instrumental excerpts and dances. These ‘Suites’ contain some of the most tuneful, appealing and striking music of the period, with works by Lully, Marais and Rebel. The tradition of presenting ‘Suites’ as a separate musical entity spread throughout Europe and of course continues to this day.
As a favoured associate of King Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste Lully was commissioned to compose a comédie-ballet for the visit of the Turkish ambassador in 1669. He composed music for Molière’s play Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, which relates the story of Mr Jourdain who absurdly tries to rise above his middle-class background. He is led to believe that he is officially ennobled at a special Turkish ceremony, an occasion for music that uses colourful percussion and exotically flavoured melodies.
The other music on the disc was written by two students of Lully, both members of his orchestras: Marin Marais and Jean-Féry Rebel. While Marais’s Alcyone is a tragic opera (tragédie en musique), composed after Lully’s death, Les Élémens is a ballet, in which Rebel portrays each of the four elements during the chaotic, confusing creation of the world. Both works are among the most successful and appealing of their composers.
Tempesta di Mare, the Philadelphia-based baroque music ensemble is presenting this project over two seasons which will comprise of workshops, concerts and broadcasts as well as the two CDs. The group was recently praised by Fanfare magazine for its ‘abundant energy, immaculate ensemble, impeccable intonation, and undeniable sense of purpose’.
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