Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jean Baptiste Lully - L' Orchestre du Roi Soleil

We have just passed the Solstice, officially entering the season of summer.  So what better music to celebrate than the royal composer to the Sun King himself?

Jean Baptiste Lully was the composer who established a uniquely French style of Baroque music, freeing it from the conventions imposed by the original Italian masters.  This is pretty ironic since he was born Giovanni Battista Lulli in Florence.  He was a street performer who by incredible chance fell in with the son of the Duke of Guise, who brought him to Paris.

His astonishing musical talents soon attracted the attention of the young King Louis XIV, who appointed him superintendent of Royal music.  He was made a French citizen and assumed the name in its French form.  The final irony was that he used a very long conducting staff which, in an excess of enthusiasm during one performance, stabbed himself in the fool.  He dies of gangrene soon after.

1 comment:

libertyman said...

Late for class, just back from Maine.

Oddly and coincidentally, I watched the Man in The Iron Mask on Friday, so the weekend begins and ends on a French theme.

Not to mention that Louis was head of the House of Bourbon, which gives me an idea...

Anyway, Thanks as always for the class!