AUTUMN CONCERT 2014:
‘La Chapelle Royale’
Baroque music in France really ‘took off’ when the Florentine Giovanni Battista Lulli (1632-1687) – soon to re-invent himself as Jean-Baptiste Lully – was appointed to a position of cultural dominance at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King. The opulence of the court was reflected in the magnificence of Lully’s music, which displayed a richness and a majesty widely imitated by English and German composers especially – Purcell, Handel, Telemann and Bach for instance. The various genres of operatic and sacred music established by Lully dominated French musical life until the Revolution even though the details of the musical language developed as his direct influence waned.
Jean-Philippe Rameau, whose 250th anniversary we’re celebrating in this concert, was the most important French composer and music theorist after the death of the Sun King. The work of Rameau and his contemporaries brought about the rebirth of musical freedom and vitality in France and their influence can even be heard in the post-revolution music of Hector Berlioz.
The principal French genre of sacred choral music at the time, equivalent to Bach’s cantatas or Purcell’s anthems, was the grand motet, usually a setting of one of the more colourful psalm texts. These were performed during Mass in the Royal Chapels (principally at Versailles) and, from 1725-90, at the Concerts Spirituels, one of the first series of public concerts. The music is particularly notable for its rich and inventive textures, contrasting dramatic choral declamation with fluent and lively counterpoint.
Rameau’s music had gone out of fashion by the end of the 18th century, and it was not until the 20th that serious efforts were made to revive it. Though he remains unfamiliar to English audiences, he and his French contemporaries were every bit as gifted and inventive as Purcell, Bach and Handel. Even so, this repertoire is still little explored outside specialist professional circles.
In recent years, The Ripieno Choir has successfully brought little-known or under-performed pieces to light, to the delight of our audiences. As one of David Hansell’s many enthusiasms and specialities, this concert of French Baroque music – sampling a number of Rameau’s works and those of his predecessors and contemporaries – is another opportunity to hear sensational music rarely performed live in this country.
The concert will include:
|Jean-Philippe Rameau||Laboravi clamans|
|Jean-Philippe Rameau||Deus noster refugium|
|Louis le Prince||Missa Macula non est in te|
|Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville||Dominus regnavit|
|Marc-Antoine Charpentier||Litanies de la Vierge|
and works by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Henri Dumont & Michel-Richard Delalande.
The concert will start at 7.30pm and will end at approximately 9.30pm.
Tickets: £15 in advance, £17 on the door