In late February 1653, just after the Fronde rebellion, the most influential spectacle of the early reign of Louis XIV was presented at the Louvre: the Ballet Royal de la Nuit. Grandiose, and carefully elaborated at the highest levels of the state, the libretto by Benserade called upon the finest artists of the time. Banishing the troubles of night, Louis XIV danced in the Sun King costume that would henceforth be forever associated with him. This unmissable world premiere recording presents a reconstruction of the work created by Sebastien Dauce that includes music by Jean de Cambefort, Antoine Boesset, Louis Constantin, Michel Lambert, Francesco Cavalli and Luigi Rossi.
Decca/London introduced Phase 4 Stereo in 1961. For classical music, the Phase 4 approach was based on miking every orchestra section individually, along with mics for selected instruments – up to a maximum of 20 channels, which were then mixed via a recording console. This resulted in a dynamic, in your face sound with relatively little hall ambience. The quality of the sound mostly depended on how skillfully the recording engineer balanced each channel – and the results were not always consistent.
Released in March of 1982, 'Diamond' now remastered, comes complete on CD1 with bonus remixes of their singles 'Chant No. 1' (UK #3), 'Instinction' (UK #10), 'Paint Me Down' (UK #30) and 'She Loved Like Diamond' (UK #49) – all of which are appearing for the first time in CD format. Whilst CD2 collects together the b-sides from these singles, extra 12'' remixes and a previously unreleased live BBC show from April 1982.
Drawing on its vast catalogue of Baroque recordings, French label Naïve has assembled a selection of opera and ballet extracts from Lully, Charpentier, Couperin and others that the Sun King would have enjoyed. The disc itself is nicely layered in mood and energy, showing off some of the world's finest period-performance players at their best - including harpsichord master Skip Sempé, the Talens Lyriques and Canada's own soprano Karina Gauvin.
Le Concert Spirituel was essentially a Parisian concert series held at the Tuileries Palace, begun in 1725 as an opportunity for musical performances during Lent and other Holy Days when secular musical activities like opera were forbidden. The concerts continued until 1790, just after the beginning of the French Revolution. The music of French composers filled most of the programs, but German and Italian music was occasionally heard, and this CD includes five pieces by Corelli, Telemann, and Rameau that were known to have been played at the concerts. Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations, one of the many stellar ensembles he is responsible for founding, play these works with such surging vibrancy that anyone who thinks of the Baroque as a period of stiff formality would be disabused of that notion on hearing these performances.