The flowering of French music during the reigns of Kings Louis XIII through XVI is the subject of this handsome 20-CD box set, mostly recorded live at the Versailles Palace in fall 2007. Ranging from anonymous lute music and sacred services to florid oratorios and the fledgling symphony, the set includes performances by Baroque specialists including William Christie, Marc Minkowski and Christophe Rousset. -- Time Out New York, Steve Smith, November 2008
Yes, the performers include three generations of wonderful French Baroque specialists (including Buffalo born and raised William Christie) but it's the slightly mad submersion in the French Baroque repertoire that makes this immense and admittedly recondite anthology among the more jaw-dropping box sets of the season. The composers, of course, include those anyone would expect -- Lully, Charpentier, Couperin, Rameau -- but also such masters as Campra, Lalande and Mondonville not exactly commonplace. Given the very nature of the anthology -- music played at Versailles -- the majority of it is vocal and choral, as befitting the proper scale (too much solo keyboard music from Rameau and Couperin, for instance, would have been strange and not entirely apt, however aesthetically just). Here is an exploration of classical repertoire both unusual and on the highest level. -- The Buffalo News, Jeff Simon, November 23, 2008
In October 2007, the Centre Musical de Baroque de Versailles celebrated its 20th anniversary, together with the best French musicians around. To complete this anniversary, they now present the release of a 20-CD box with numerous musical highlights, both of the anniversary concerts as well as releases from the previous 20 years. Thanks to this jubilee
box, you can now witness this landmark of French Baroque music.