Sunday, June 23, 2013
Jean Baptiste Lully - L' Orchestre du Roi Soleil
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.