Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687)
L'Orchestre du Roi Soleil
The Orchestra of King Louis XIV

 

Alia Vox AV9807
Code-barres/Barcode:
7619986098074
 

 CD Standard

Alia Vox AVSA9807
Code-barres/Barcode:
7619986398075
 

Super Audio CD

 



 


Description

Artistes / Performers
Le Concert des Nations / Manfredo Kraemer, premier violon - first violin /
Jordi Savall, dir.

Lieu d'enregistrement / Recording site: Collégiale du Château de Cardona (Catalogne/Catalunya)

Dates d'enregistrement: février 1999
Recording dates: February 1999

Durée totale / Total time: 64"19


 


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Les années 1670-1673 constituent l’un de ces carrefours comme l’histoire en général et l’histoire des arts en particulier prennent parfois plaisir à aménager savamment : les hommes, les événements, les instruments eux-mêmes, semblent exacts au rendez-vous. De fait, ce qui va se passer durant ces quelques années aura des conséquences décisives non seulement pour l’avenir de la musique française, mais dans une certaine mesure, pour la musique occidentale tout entière.

PHILIPPE BEAUSSANT

The years from 1670 to 1673 mark one of those crossroads at which history in general, and the history of art in particular, sometimes judiciously brings together just the right combination of people, events and even instruments. In fact, the events of those years were to have major consequences, not only for the future of French music, but also, to a certain extent, for Western music as a whole.

PHILIPPE BEAUSSANT

Évaluations recensées / Reviews located



12/1999
 


Full text / texte intégral
Review by: David Vernier


 # 17 - (11/1999)


23:4(03/04-2000)



#9 - (1999)



Reviewer: Ian Lace
  American Record Guide
01/200

Review by: Ardella Crawdord

 
 


Jean-Baptiste Lully


Jean-Baptiste Lully


Extrait du livret / From the liner notes

Extrait:

Les œuvres enregistrées sur ce disque sont l’exact reflet de cette extraordinaire rencontre historique et artistique. 
D’abord, cette musique a été écrite pour être exécutée avec tout l’arsenal instrumental possible en ce temps, en nombre, en qualité comme en diversité. Lully disposait d’une palette sonore d’une incroyable richesse: cordes, autant qu’il en voulait, flûtistes virtuoses, hautbois sur toute l’échelle, percussions de toutes sortes, cuivres, claviers, luths, théorbes et guitares. Certes, sur les partitions, les indications sont rares ; mais on en a d’indirectes qui témoignent de cette diversité, jusqu’à celles qui indiquent, sur tel manuscrit, «M. de Lully joue», pour un solo de violon avec ornementation fleurie, ou pour ensemble de guitares. Et cette musique de scène exige cette variété, non seulement dans l’instrumentation, mais dans les tempos, les moyens d’expression, les rythmes. Diversité ensuite des œuvres elles-mêmes, au sein d’une continuité dans l’évolution.
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme constitue l’apothéose de la comédie-ballet, le sommet (avec Psyché) de la collaboration de Lully et de Molière. La musique ne s’y réduit pas à l’éternel menuet de M. Jourdain. C’est une partition infiniment riche, tant dans la comédie proprement dite que dans la Cérémonie Turque et que dans le Ballet des Nations qui la prolonge. Les airs pour les Espagnols (c’est-à-dire, dans le langage du temps, des gitans) demandent une exécution pittoresque et brillante, non moins que l’Entrée et la Chaconne des Scaramouches.
Le Divertissement royal donne une autre facette de cet art de cour : grande musique festive comme Louis XIV dans la pleine force de sa jeunesse ne cessa d’en commander. Versailles est né de semblables fêtes, et c’est bien l’image de ce premier Versailles d’avant 1680, fastueux, héroïque et galant, que l’on y retrouve.
Enfin, la musique instrumentale d’Alceste illustre la manière dont s’est constitué l’opéra à la française. Née de la fusion du ballet et de la tragédie, la chorégraphie s’y taille une place fort grande, développant à l’extrême toutes les potentialités du ballet de cour : musique de danse pure (menuet, marches, air des démons), vastes scènes chorégraphiques (Rondeau pour la Gloire, Fête infernale), musique descriptive destinée à être mimée et dansée (Les vents), et musique évocatrice, avec grandeur et lyrisme, d’une ample célébration funèbre (Pompe funèbre).

PHILIPPE BEAUSSANT


 

Excerpt:

The works recorded here are a faithful reflection of the way in which history and art came together. The music was written to be performed by the full range of instruments, in terms of number, quality and diversity, available at the time. Lully had an incredibly rich sound palette to work with: as many strings as he could wish for, virtuoso flautists, the full range of oboes, all manner of percussion instruments, the brass section, keyboard instruments, lutes, theorboes and guitars. Although indications on the scores are rare, the occasional manuscript bearing the inscription "M. Lully joue" (Monsieur Lully performs) provides indirect evidence concerning the diversity of instruments used, indicating that the piece is for solo violin with florid ornamentation, or for guitar ensemble. Stage music of this kind required variety, not only in terms of the instruments used, but also in terms of the tempo, rhythm and means of expression. Diversity, within a context of continuity and development, was also a hallmark of the works themselves,.
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme was the apotheosis of comédie-ballet, and (together with Psyché) marked the high point of Lully's collaboration with Molière. In this work, the music is not confined to M. Jourdain's eternal minuet. It has an infinitely rich score, as regards both the comedy itself and the Turkish Ceremony (Cérémonie Turque) and the Dance of the Nations (Ballet des Nations). The Spanish or, in the parlance of the age, Gypsy) Airs (Les Airs pour les espagnols) demand a colourful and brilliant execution, as do the Entrée and the Chaconne des Scaramouches.
Royal Divertissement (Divertissement royal) gave another facet to art at court: great festive music of the kind that King Louis XIV, at the height of his youth, constantly commanded to be composed. Out of such festivities was Versailles born, and indeed it is the sumptuous, heroic and elegant reflection of Versailles in its early days, before 1680, that we find in this music. 
The instrumental music in Alceste illustrates how opéra à la française took shape. Choreography, which resulted from the fusion of ballet and tragedy, played a key role in the work, developing the full potential of court ballet: pure dance music (minuet, marches, air des démons), vast choreographic scenes (Rondeau pour la Gloire, Fête infernale), descriptive music for pantomime and dance (Les Vents) and grand, lyrically evocative funeral music (Pompe funèbre).

PHILIPPE BEAUSSANT

Translated by Jacqueline Minett

 

 

 


 

Gramophone- 
(12/1999)



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Reviewer: Julie Anne Sadie
Abridged version-: 

"Le Concert des Nations offers here a compendium of Lully's music from the heyday of the court of Louis XIV (widely assumed to have been at Versailles, but in fact from before the move from Paris). The pieces, drawn from a variety of Lullian sources to make up three entertainments ( or diverstissements), provide Savall with opportunities to present his musicians in Lully's spectrum of ensemble textures. The players respond to the rhytmic vitality of the music, adding ornamentation with tremendous precision and flair (might Lully have censored it, one wonders?), but the secret of the obvious success of this recording is the rightness of the tempos, whether for a dance, a battle, a gust of wind or a funeral".

"The real stars of the recording, however, are the percussion players, Michel Claude and Pedro Estevan, whose command of the possibilities for accompanying this repertory would have impressed even Lully (there are almost no indications given in the scores themselves)."



Reviewer: Ian Lace
 

Appréciation 
~~~~
Evaluation

 

Here is another magnificent recording by Le Concert des Nations directed by Jordi Savall - this time concentrating on Lully's music for the court of the 'Sun King', Louis XIV. As Philippe Beaussant says in his eloquently written notes, Louis had a genuine and discerning love for all the arts, but especially for music and dance. He gave his artists almost unlimited resources with which to create their works - and he was especially munificent towards Lully. Lully was Italian by birth, temperament and training (despite his arrival in Paris at an early age) but French by adoption and he assimilated the artistic tastes and ideas of his second homeland.

Court ballet was one of the essential forms of French music. Lully, the Italian, was to breathe fresh air into it, giving it greater vigour and technical precision and above all new horizons. Lully developed the ballet to reflect the evolution of the King himself, endowing it with ever more grandeur and brilliance. His collaboration with Molière gave rise to the mixed genre of comédie-ballet. This new genre was to have a decisive influence in expanding choreographic art through the dimension of drama.

Louis' court band, known as the French Band of Twenty-Four Violins, constituted the first orchestra in the modern sense of the word - i.e. one in which the permanent distribution of instruments precedes and determines the composition of musical works. A hard core of strings was flanked by oboes and if required by all the instruments of the Chamber. Thus Lully had an incredibly rich sound palette to work with: as many strings as he could wish for, virtuoso flautists, the full range of oboes, all manner of percussion instruments, the brass section, keyboard instruments, lutes, theorboes and guitars.

Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme was the apotheosis of the comédie-ballet. Jordi Savall's players deliver brilliant crisply articulated readings of the eight short numbers comprising the suite and heighten their colour. The numbers' titles indicate their style: for instance Turkish Ceremony, Dance of the Nations, The Spanish Airs (or of the gypsies).

Le Divertissement Royale is another facet of King Louis' court music with the emphasis this time, on the ceremonial with lots of pomp and imposing flourishes; but there are quieter numbers too where the texture thins and the number of instruments are reduced --even to solo players -- to give a sense of contrasting intimacy.

With Alceste, we reach a peak of sophistication. It illustrates how opéra à la français took shape. "Choreography which resulted from the fusion of ballet and tragedy, played a key role in the work, developing the full potential of court ballet: pure dance music (minuet, marches, Air des Démons), vast choreographic scenes (Rondeau pour la Gloire, Fête infernale), descriptive music for pantomime and dance (Les Vents) and grand, lyrically evocative funeral music. The sense of theatre is heightened with two bands of brass one on-stage and another echoing its music off-stage in Echos and Jordall uses a wind machine to heighten the atmosphere of Les Vents.

A glorious album with music that sounds grand and big in every sense.

Classica- # 17
(02/2000)


Appréciation 
~~
3 ~~
Evaluation

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Analyste: 
Stéphan Perreau
Résumé ou abrégé: 

"Nouveau disque Alia Vox et première déception ! Pourtant, le programme est alléchant, et l’entreprise glorieuse qui semblait devoir nous séduire, d’autant plus que les dernières productions de Savall avaient fait l’unanimité tant la musique espagnole se transformait en or au creux de ses doigts. Savall n’en est pas à son premier essai en musique française : Alcione de Marin Marais, les Cantiques de la Vierge  de Charpentier (chez Auvidis), notamment, avaient remporté un fameux succès. Mais ici, même la célèbre Marche pour la Cérémonie turque, déjà jouée avec tant de faste pour Tous les matins du monde, nous apparaît curieusement fade et sans relief. Trop de métier, de sagesse et de réserve ne donne guère d’émotion. Lorsque les divines percussions de Pedro Estevan gonflent l’effectif, l’effet tombe même à l’eau. Le soleil de Louis se serait-il terni ? Détrompez-nous vite, Monsieur Savall…"
 
Reviewer: Stéphan Perreau

Excerpt:

"This new addition to the Alia Vox catalog is some sort of a deception. An appetizing program, a glorious enterprise meant to seduce - Savall's previous productions had been unanimoulsly acclaimed: Spanish music was being transformed into gold..."
"This is not Savall's first intrusion into French music: Alcione, by Marin Maris, the Cantiques de la Vierge by Charpentier (Auvidis ) among others were widely acclaimed. But even here, the famous Marche pour la Cérémonie turque,  performed in such a glorious fashion in Tous les matins du monde, seems rather tedious and performed without imagination. Too much crafmanship, wisdom and restraint lead to few emotions. Even when the divine percussions of Pedro Estevan comme into play, they produce little effect. Is Louis's sun fading out? Please intervene quickly, maestro Savall!"
Goldberg # 9
(Automne-Fall 1999)

 

Appréciation 



Eva
luation

Goldberg a cessé de publier avec le # 54
~~~~~~
Goldberg is no longer available.
# 54 was the last issue.


Analyste: Igor Kipnis
Résumé ou abrégé: (Extraits)

" Il y a parmi les trente-et-un fragments sélectionnés un choix extraordinaire d'ouvertures, de chacones, de danses, de rondeaux, de marche et de pièces de caractère, toutes brillamment interprétées par Jordi Savall et son magnifique ensemble. La palette orchestrale est réellement vaste, et en ce qui concerne l'instrumentation, les partitions de Lully, aux indications souvent limités, sont traitées avec de nombreuses touches d'imagination ("Les Vents" de Alceste, comprennent de fait le son d'une machine à vent). Aucun effort n'a semble-t-il été épargné pour faire de ce disque quelque chose d'extraordinaire, si brillamment interprété qu'aucune autre version ne lui est comparable. Il me semble difficile de trouver un disque plus recommandable et élégant consacré à la musique de ce compositeur incroyablement machiavélique et opportuniste, mais au talent immense. L'enregistrement du son est sensationnel."
 
Reviewer: Igor Kipnis
Abridged version :


"Amid the thirty-one mostly short selections are an exceptionally varied assortment of overtures, chaconnes, dances, rondeaux, marches, and character pieces, all glowingly played by Jordi Savall and his grand ensemble. The orchestral palette is wide indeed, and, so far as instrumentation is concerned, there are many imaginative touches to Lully's often barely indicated scores ("Les Vents" from Alceste actually includes the sound of a wind machine). No effort seems to have been spared to make this an extraordinary compilation so brilliantly performed as almost to defy comparison. I find it difficult to find a more recommendable stylish disc devoted to the music of this incredibly Machiavellian opportunistic, yet talented composer. The recorded sound is sensational."
 




23:4(03/04-2000)

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Reviewer: Brian Robins
Full text:

As if on cue to underline my reply to the letter from James Ginsburg of Cedille Records, here's a disc of Lully's theater music that presents it with all the grandeur it demands. Savall's band sets out to re-create the rich, five-part textures of the vingt-quatre violons du roi supplemented by the oboes of the grand écurie (no fewer than seven), flutes, bassoons, and percussion. What we get is a vivid evocation of the regal pomp of the first permanently constituted orchestra in musical history.

The three suites given here illustrate the various stages of Lully's extraordinary climb to a musical absolutism that paralleled the political absolutism of his master Louis XIV. The Divertissement is culled from the comédies-ballets Lully produced for the court during the 1660s, a colorfully contrasted suite that ranges from the ceremonial pomp of the "Menuet pour les Trompettes" to the delicacy of the Rondeau from Molière's Le Mariage forcé (1664), an enchanting duet between Savall's viol and the harp of Andrew Lawrence-King. The comédie-ballet and Lully's collaboration with Molière reached its apogee with Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme of 1670, the eight-movement suite presented here culminating in a truly sumptuous performance of the "Chaconne des Scaramouches, Trivelins et Arlequins."

Two years later Lully gained the royal patent that gave him total control of the destiny of French opera, Alceste, the second of his tragédies en musique appearing in 1674. The orchestral suite given here consists of 11 numbers from the opera framed by two splendidly warlike marches from the spectacular battle divertissement in act II. From act III we have the moving "La Pompe Funébre" that accompanies the obsequies of Alceste, while two airs come from the act IV "Fête Infernale." All the music is carried off with great panache, Savall here drawing rather more rhythmically pointed playing in the livelier pieces than has sometimes been the case with French Baroque music. That he also remains a past master when it comes to drawing dignity and breadth from the more expansive pieces could go without saying, but should not be allowed to do so. The sound is both full and detailed, some wonderfully subtle playing from percussionist Pedro Estevan being magically captured. Strongly recommended.

American Record Guide
(01/2000)
     
Reviewer: Ardella Crawford

Excerpts:

"... the sound quality of the orchestra is unmistakable: and the music is played with a gaiety and cheerful abandon that conjures up, as few rendition do, all the color and grandeur of French royalty. Included here are the suites: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, which, as the notes indicate, marks the zenith of Lully's collaboration with Molière; Divertissement Royal; and the instrumental music from Alceste. The music is golden -- French baroque at its best."
 

La musique / The music

1. Première Suite 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme': Ouverture.
2. Première Suite 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme': Gavotte
3. Première Suite 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme': Canaries
4. Première Suite 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme': Marche Pour La Cérémonie Turque
5. Première Suite 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme': Premier Air Des Espagnols: Sarabande
6. Premier Suite 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme': Second Air Des Espagnols: Gigue
7. Premier Suite 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme': L'Entrée Des Scaramouches, Trivelins Et Arlequins
8. Premier Suite 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme': Chaconne Des Scaramouches, Trivelins Et Arlequins
9. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Danse De Neptune
10. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Les Suivants De Neptune
11. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Prld Des Trompettes Et Autres Instruments Pour Mars
12. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Les Hommes Et Femmes Armes
13. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Rondeau Du Mariage Forcé
14. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Second Air ('Le Mariage Forcé')
15. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Bourrée Du Mariage Forcé
16. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Bourrée Du Divertissement De Chambord
17. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Symphonie Des Plaisirs
18. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Les Esclaves
19. Deuxième Suite 'Le Divertissement Royal': Menuet Pour Les Trompettes
20. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': Marche Des Combattants
21. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': Menuet
22. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': Loure Pour Les Pêcheurs
23. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': Échos
24. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': Rondeau De La Gloire
25. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': La Pompe Funèbre
26. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': Rondeau Pour La Fête Marine
27. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': Les Vents
28. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': La Fet Infernale: 1er Air
29. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': 2eme Air, Les Démons
30. Troisième Suite 'Alceste': Marche Des Assiégeants
31. Chacone









 
Autres références disponibles via la base de données de Todd McComb/ Other available references  via Todd McComb's database:
(Site: http://www.medieval.org)
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Alia Vox AV9807
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7619986098074
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Alia Vox AVSA9807
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7619986398075

 

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