L’Esprit Galant                        | Channel Classics CCSSA24307

L’Esprit Galant

£13.05 £10.44

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Label: Channel Classics

Cat No: CCSSA24307

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 12th November 2007



"The short and succinct ‘Air sérieux’ experienced a great flowering in the second half of the 17th century. The audiences of the time loved variety and novelty, in the theatre, the dance, and in music as well. The poetry on which the ‘Air sérieux’ was based bore the general name of galanterie. ‘Delicate’, ‘cheerful’, ‘sweet’, and ‘light-footed’ were the words associated with galant poets around 1670.

"The characteristics described above, however, apply not only to the text and music, but to the performing style as well. The importance of diction in singing is an important topic in Bénigne de Bacilly’s ‘Remarques curieuses sur l’art de bien chanter’ (1668): he devotes no fewer than 186 pages to the subject. The language used in singing is different than that used in speaking. In order to be expressive, a singer, according to Bacilly, cannot neglect a single syllable. Bacilly uses the term style galant when he speaks of the relationship between expression and lightness. To illustrate this, he makes reference, among others, to the ‘Airs’ of Michel Lambert, the most important composer of the ‘Air sérieux’ at that time. Lambert’s Airs, some 330 of them, formed the core of the ‘précieux’ literary Salons in Paris, inseparably associated with the ‘Esprit Galant’ which set the tone there." - liner notes by Fred Jacobs

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