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World of Lully

Jean-Baptiste Lully , Jean-Fery Rebel , Marin Marais , Patrice Michaels Bedi , Chicago Baroque Ensemble Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Jean-Fery Rebel, Marin Marais, Patrice Michaels Bedi, Chicago Baroque Ensemble
  • Orchestra: Jean-Baptiste Lully
  • Audio CD (April 1, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cedille
  • ASIN: B00000IMRB
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,015,756 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lully: Première Divertissement
2. Jean-Féry Rebel: Le Tombeau de Monsieur Lully
3. Lully: Seconde Divertissement
4. Lully, arr. Jean d’Anglebert: Pièces de clavecin
5. Lully: Plainte de Cloris from Le Grand Divertissement Royal de Versailles
6. Lully: Galliarde from Trios pour le coucher du roi
7. Marin Marais: Tombeau de Lully from Second livre de pièces de violes
8. Lully: Armide, Tragedie lyrique (selections)
9. Vif (2:03)
10. Lentement (2:43)
11. Vivement (3:50)
12. Les regrets (2:46)Seconde Divertissement (9:34) - LULLY
13. Menuet from Alceste (0:58)
14. C'est la saison d'aimer from Alceste (1:32)
15. Recit: Suivons de si douces loix from Ballet d'Alcidiane (1:48)
16. Gavotte from Amadis (1:16)
17. Gigue -- Les plaisirs nous suivent from Amadis (3:56)PiÃ..ces de clavecin (7:35) - LULLY / arr. Jean d'Anglebert
18. Ouverture de la Mascarade (3:53)
19. Les songes agréables (1:54)
20. Gigue (1:44)
See all 29 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Music in the age of Louis XIV revolved around the formidable composer and impresario Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), the dominant star in the Sun King's musical galaxy. On this CD, the Chicago Baroque Ensemble and soprano Patrice Michaels present solo and chamber arrangements of Lully's vocal and instrumental theater music. Intimate arrangements such as these were widely performed in salons during Lully's lifetime and long thereafter. For the sumptuous court at Versailles, Lully created music that would "soothe the ear and delight the senses . . . elegant, clear, and well-ordered" (Joseph Machlis, The Enjoyment of Music). Lully combined large baroque gestures with the minute refinement of the French "precieux" style, writes John Mark Rozendaal, the Chicago Baroque Ensemble's artistic director. "Perhaps it is this uncommon interplay between intimate and corporate expression that makes Lully's opera music so satisfying in chamber music renditions," Rozendaal says. The two Lully divertissements on the recording, arranged by the Chicago Baroque Ensemble, comprise song an dance sequences from Alceste, Amadis, Armide, Ballet d"alcidiane, Ballet de l'amour malade, Ballet Des Plaisirs, Persée, and Phaeton. The Galliarde from Trios pour le coucher du roi shows Lully working in the Italianate trio sonata format. La Plainte de Cloris, with words by Molière, is part of Lully's Le Grand Divertissement Royal de Versailles, a self-contained royal entertainment. Armide, Lully's last completed opera, contains some of his most renowned music. Lully protégés Marais (1656-1728) and Jean-Féry Rebel (1666-1747) each wrote a "Tombeau," a heartfelt musical tribute, to Lully. (Lully had, in a sense, "shot himself in the foot": He accidentally stabbed his own foot with the long conducting stick he used to beat time and died from an infection.) Jean-Henri d'Anglebert, a harpsichord virtuoso who was present at Lully's original productions, wrote arrangements of Lully's works. D'Anglebert's efforts show a mastery of counterpoint, ornamentation, and the harpsichord idiom.


All this virtuosity invites repeated listening. -- Early Music America

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Baroque bonbon July 30, 1999
Lully lived only to age 55, when the baton with which he was beating time for an orchestra went through his foot, fatally as it turned out. The notes that accompany the new Cedille Records release of <The World of Lully: Music of Jean-Baptiste Lully and his Followers> (CDR 90000 043) tell you in some detail about the contradictions of his life and works, so that need not occupy us here. What matters is the excellence of this program, which treats us to about 78 minutes of his music and that of two of his admirers, Marais and Rebel. Of Lully's output we have "Premiere Divertissement," "Seconde Divertissement," selections from "Armide," and some other short pieces. Although we will never know exactly how this music sounded back then, the Chicago Baroque Ensemble with soprano Patrice Michaels Bedi make a convincing argument for the authenticity of this performance. The playing just sparkles along and the French and English texts to the songs is thoughtfully supplied. Very much recommended to lovers of the Baroque and a very good introduction to those unfamiliar with French music of this period.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The Chicago Baroque Ensemble has assembled one of the most captivating performances of the music of this era that I have ever heard. The two works titled "Tombeau de Lully"--by Rebel and Marais (the Marais is not listed by, but it is certainly there)--are stand out gems on the recording. The Marais "Tombeau" is a doleful lament that captures the tragedy of Lully's untimely, albeit astonishing (and grotesquely humorous), demise. (Lully used a long staff which he banged on the floor to keep time during performances. During the last performance he conducted, he mistruck in the midst of a particularly emotional passage, and slammed it down on his foot. He died a few days later from gangrene.) The Rebel "Tombeau" is a wonderful combination of a musical tribute to, and remembrance of a spiritual connection with, a great composer. It has moments of great excitement (in the style of Lully, of course)--as well as profound expressions of grief.
The Lully works are excellently chosen and indicative of his genius. Patrice Michaels-Bedi, although listed as the conductor, is instead the soprano soloist, who unleashes her glowing voice with thrilling effect. The hair on the back of your neck tingles at the confluence of her golden-toned virtuosity and the tightly knit sound of the Chicago Baroque Ensemble.
I half wish I could criticize something to lend this review some credibility. So here is one. If you like baroque music for what many call "elevator music" qualities, you will find it hard to use this disc as "background" music. You and/or your guests will stop reading or talking just to listen to the beauty flowing from your speakers.
Buy this for yourself--then tell your friends about it.
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