Mstation Classical Reviews

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Mon, 29 Aug 2005

Lully, Comedies-ballets, Phaeton

Jean Baptiste Lully, Les Comedies-ballets, Phaeton
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski
recorded by Radio France, 1987
2 CDs, Apex

One might picture Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632 - 1687) in the court of Louis XIV as being a raised-eyebrow kind of guy with effete mannerisms and a complete sense of humour bypass. As it happens this is untrue and he was well known for being a practical joker. On one occasion at Versailles a Duchess was lamenting that what the view from a particular window required was a statue ... right there. The next day she looked out the window to discover, to her complete amazement, that a statue had appeared there. She went outside to examine it and discovered it to be Jean-Baptiste on a plynth, playing an instrument.

On the first CD is a collection od Comedies-ballets. These are spirited and fun and I'd love to see some on DVD where the super-stylised baroque dance could be enjoyed to the fullest. The second CD has the French opera, Phaeton. It was first performed at Versailles in 1683 with a libretto by Phillipe Quinault.

Both CDs are excellent, and being for Warner's cut price label, Apex, are good value for money as well. (Mr Monsieur)

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