In late February 1653, just after the Fronde rebellion, the most influential spectacle of the early reign of Louis XIV was created at the Louvre: the Ballet Royal de la Nuit. Grandiose, and carefully elaborated at the highest levels of the state, the libretto by Bensérade 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 for ever associated with him. An indispensable world premiere recording!
Each year the magical setting of the gardens of the Castle of Versailles (one of the most visited sites in France and, indeed, Europe) are the setting for a fairy-tale fountain display. Devised during the reign of Louis XIV, this impressive spectacle set to music reflected the power and the majesty of the King himself. This year, the musical programme has been entrusted to Jordi Savall, who has selected some of the finest treasures from the Alia Vox catalogue. This is a landmark album, a unique selection performed by the leading specialists in the repertoire, those same artists who popularised this music and contributed to the success that it enjoys today.
This 35 disc set is jam packed with thrilling, beautiful - and superbly recorded - music.
Tchaikovsky's "Big Three" are very well represented here. Dutoit's lushly lyrical and dramatic "Swan Lake", Bonynge's affectionate and inspired "Sleeping Beauty" (listen out for grumpy Carabosse's distant thunder rumbling in the Act II Symphonic Entr'acte!) and a version of "The Nutcracker" - Bychkov and the Berlin Philharmonic, which is brilliant, full of character and sparkle.
John Eliot Gardiner has proved himself a doughty champion of the later French Baroque, cultivating credible performing methods and unearthing undeservedly neglected repertoire. These nine CDs offer both rich musical rewards and an insight into developing approaches to interpretation. The earliest repertoire in the set is the volume of Francois Couperin's 'apotheoses' of Lully and Corelli, a sensual and programmatic feast in which this charmingly didactic composer attempts to reconcile the best of French and Italian taste.
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.