Sunday, May 29, 2011

Charpentier M-A - Les Arts florissants - Christie, Les Arts Florissants







Les arts florissants (H. 487) is a short chamber opera (also described by the composer as idylle en musique) in five scenes by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. It was written in 1685 for the group of musicians employed by Marie de Lorraine, Duchess of Guise, at her residence in Paris. The reason behind the creation of this work, as well as its place of performance, remain a matter for speculation. The French libretto, written by an unknown author, is allegorical in nature and draws on aspects of mythological and natural symbolism familiar to 17th-century audiences to add depth to a superficially simple plot.
Portrait presumed to be of Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier.In 1979, Christie founded Les Arts Florissants, named after the opera of the same name by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, which was to be its first fully-staged production. William Christie's enthusiasm for the French Baroque has never diminished. From Charpentier to Rameau, through Couperin, Mondonville, Campra or Montéclair, he is an acknowledged master of tragédie-lyrique as well as opéra-ballet, and is equally at home with French motets as with music of the court.


flac, scans

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