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JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY  

(1632 - 1687)

Italian by birth, Lully made his career in France, where he rose from the position of a page to Mlle de Montpensier to that of Composer of the King’s Music, Master of Music to the Royal Family, and to a position of complete control of all musical performances that involved singing throughout. He collaborated with Molière and with Corneille, and, more particularly, with the poet Quinault, creating comédies-ballets and tragédies lyriques, in both of which there was an element of dance (a French royal preoccupation). The most important French composer of his period, his development of the French overture—with its introductory, slow dotted rhythms and ensuing fugal section—was influential, as was his insistence on orchestral discipline, particularly in the matter of string bowing.

Stage Works

The tragédies lyriques of Lully exercised a strong influence over French opera in his lifetime and in the years that followed his death in 1687. These works are usually treatments of subjects drawn from classical mythology. With changes of fashion, they are rarely heard nowadays in the theatre, although overtures and dances from the operas may appear in instrumental programmes. The comédies-ballets, in the creation of which Molière was a junior partner, are now generally performed without the music and ballet that were essential elements in the original works (although the music for Le Bourgeois gentilhomme may be better remembered).

Church Music

Lully was also influential in the choice of music and musicians for the royal chapel. His compositions for the church include a number of motets: some six grands motets and 14 petits motets. Examples of the first are the fine setting of the Dies irae from the Requiem Mass for double choir, the Te Deum, and the Miserere, the last a favourite of the King. Examples of the second are his settings of the Vespers Psalm Dixit Dominus, the Anima Christi and the Regina coeli.

Instrumental Music

Instrumental works by Lully include various sets of dances from his stage works and 18 Trios pour le coucher du Roi.

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
LULLY The Grand Motets Naxos 8.503229

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
Art and Music: Rembrandt - Music of His Time Naxos
8.558118
Ballet
BAROQUE OPERAS (4 DVD Box set) (NTSC) EuroArts
2057938
Opera DVD
BRITANNIC ORGAN (THE), Vol. 4 Oehms Classics
OC843
Instrumental
CARUSO, Enrico: Complete Recordings, Vol. 12 (1902-1920) Naxos Historical
8.110753
Opera
Chamber and Orchestral Music (Baroque) – LULLY, J.B. / PURCELL, H. / PHILIDOR, A.D. / JENKINS, J. / HANDEL, G.F. (A Baroque Celebration) (Pederson) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90189
Chamber Music, Orchestral
Chamber Music - BACH, J.S. / FRANCOEUR, F. / LOCATELLI, P. / LULLY, J. (Linsenmeyer) Divox
CDX-25206-2
Chamber Music
Chamber Music (Baroque) - LULLY, J.-B. / COUPERIN, F. / MARAIS, M. / REBEL, J.-F. / RAMEAU, J.-P. / LECLAIR, J.M. (A French Soiree) (Trio Settecento) Cedille
CDR90000-129
Chamber Music
Choral Concert: United States Army Chorus - SCHUBERT, F. / LULLY, J.-B. / MILHAUD, D. / CURTIS, E. de (In Concert) Altissimo
75442270782
Choral - Secular
Den danske sangskat (Treasure of Danish Songs), Vol. 6 - Danske salmer (Danish Hymns) Naxos
8.554976
Choral - Sacred
Discover Music of the Baroque Era Naxos Educational
8.558160-61
Choral - Sacred
Grand Tour (Trio Settecento) (4-CD Box Set) Cedille
CDRBOX1002
Chamber Music
GRIEG, E.: Piano Concerto / LISZT, F.: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Cziffra, Tzipine, Cluytens) ICA Classics
ICAC5079
Instrumental
Imperial Fanfares Naxos
8.555879
Orchestral
LULLY, J.: Armide (Opera Lafayette, 2007) Naxos
8.660209-10
Opera
LULLY, J.B.: Persee (Opera Atelier, 2004) (NTSC) EuroArts
2054178
Opera DVD
LULLY: Ballet Music for the Sun King Naxos
8.554003
Ballet
LULLY: Grand Motets, Vol. 1 Naxos
8.554397
Choral - Sacred
LULLY: Grand Motets, Vol. 2 Naxos
8.554398
Choral - Sacred
LULLY: Grand Motets, Vol. 3 Naxos
8.554399
Choral - Sacred
MISERERE - Classical Music for Reflection and Meditation Naxos
8.556712
Choral - Sacred
PONSELLE, Rosa: American Recordings (1939, 1954) Naxos Historical
8.111142-44
Opera
SALVE REGINA - Classical Music for Reflection and Meditation Naxos
8.556709
Choral - Sacred
Takako Nishizaki Plays Suzuki Evergreens, Vol. 1 Naxos
8.572378
Chamber Music
THE WORLD OF LULLY Cedille
CDR90000-043
Opera, Vocal, Orchestral, Vocal, Opera, Vocal, Opera
TRIO SONATA IN 17th-CENTURY FRANCE BIS
BIS-CD-1465
Chamber Music
UNGER-HAMILTON, C.: Discover Music of the Baroque Era (Unabridged) Naxos AudioBooks
NA495912
Choral - Sacred
VISEE, R. de: Suites (Imamura) Capriccio
C10464
Instrumental
World of Early Music Naxos
8.554770-71
Instrumental




 
 
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