Jean-Baptiste Lully

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Jean-Baptiste Lully, portrait by Paul Mignard

Jean-Baptiste Lully , born as Giovanni Battista Lulli (born November 28, 1632 in Florence , † March 22, 1687 in Paris ) was an Italian-French composer , violinist , guitarist and dancer . garcon de chambre ”worked for Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans at the French court and rose to the highest musical offices of Louis XIV . In December 1661 he became a French citizen. As a creator of characteristic French baroque music he is considered one of the most influential composers in French music history.


Childhood in Italy

Bust of Jean-Baptiste Lully

Jean-Baptiste Lully's ancestors on his father's side were farmers in Tuscany. His parents, Lorenzo Lulli and his Florentine wife Caterina, née del Sera (or Seta) - a miller's daughter - lived in a city apartment in Florence at the time of Lully's birth. Jean-Baptiste's older brother Vergini died in June 1638 and his sister Margherita in October 1639. The seven-year-old Jean-Baptiste remained the only child of his parents. After the death of his father-in-law, Lorenzo Lulli took over the business of the mill and earned a certain amount of wealth. This enabled Giovanni Battista, who presumably attended the school of the Franciscan Church of Santa Croce (Florence) , to get a good education . A pamphlet from 1705 reports that Lully later spoke gratefully of a "cordelier" ( Franciscan ) who gave him his first music lessons and taught him to play the guitar.

In February 1646 at Carnival time, the Parisian Roger de la Lorraine, Chevalier de Guise, visited Florence, where he had spent his childhood at the court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany . On behalf of Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, duchesse de Montpensier (known as La Grande Mademoiselle ), he was looking for an Italian to speak to for her Italian language lessons. During carnival performances, the Chevalier became aware of the 13-year-old Lully, who was a gifted comedian and played violinist, and took him to France with his parents' consent. Cardinal Giovanni Carlo, brother of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, accompanied them both to the ship to France.

Lully with Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans

From the age of 13, Lully lived with the "Grande Mademoiselle" Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, duchesse de Montpensier , niece of King Louis XIII. or cousin Louis XIV in the Parisian Palais des Tuileries . The 23-year-old duchess lived “emancipated” (her husband had refused) and as a woman she held the second highest rank in France after the queen. With her Lully served as a "Garçon de chambre" (valet). B. sorted the cloakroom, heated the chimneys and lit the candles. Mainly he benefited musically, since the Duchess employed famous music and dance teachers for herself: the composer and singer at the court of her father Étienne Moulinié and the dance teacher and violinist Jacques Cordier (called "Bocan"), who also belonged to the "Musique du Roi" . Lully accompanied the singing and dancing Duchess with the guitar and entertained her as a comedian. In this situation it is obvious that the boy was able to learn from Bocan and that his critical attitude towards the Vingt-quatre Violons du Roy (later) was transferred to him. According to a source from 1695, Lully took harpsichord and composition lessons from Nicolas Métru , François Roberday and Nicolas Gigault . Also on Anne Marie Louise d'Orleans' payroll was the royal dance master who presumably provided Lully's excellent dance training. Jean Regnault de Segrais , secretary of the Mademoiselle, who was admitted to the Académie française in 1661 , influenced Lully. In 1652 Lully's name appears for the first time in French in the "Etats de la maison princière" as "Jean-Baptiste Lully, garçon de la chambre".

First meeting with Louis XIV.

The young Louis XIV in the leading role of Apollo in the Ballet royal de la nuit 1653

During the guardianship of Queen Anna of Austria for her underage son Louis XIV, the Grande Mademoiselle, Lully's employer, took an active part in the fronde (civil war) against the reign of the Queen Mother and Cardinal Mazarin . Because of her activities she was exiled to Saint-Fargeau , where she was followed by the now twenty-year-old Lully, who had appeared as a composer and performer in a “récit grotesque” in the Tuileries on March 7, 1652. Back in Paris he was seen several times in the Ballet royal de la nuit between February 23 and March 16, 1653 as a shepherd, soldier, beggar, cripple and grace. Fourteen-year-old Louis XIV himself danced the role of the rising sun here for the first time. Jean Regnault de Segrais - co-organizer of the Ballet royal de la nuit - comes into question as Lully's mediator to the royal court . Lully was obviously a talented dancer, a "balladin" (ballet dancer), felt comfortable on stage, was a theater man. There was something unusual about his dance, so that newspaper people, who otherwise rarely dealt with dancers, chose him as "Baptiste" as the subject of their reports.

On March 16, 1653 Lully was appointed Compositeur de la musique instrumentale . For the “Ballets de cour”, which played a special role at the French court, he composed the dances, while the texts and compositions of the sung “ Airs de Ballet” were in the hands of other court artists, such as B. Michel Lambert lay. It was not uncommon for Lully to dance alongside the king himself, for example in the Ballet des plaisirs. His Italian origins could be heard for a long time in his compositions. B. in the Ballet de Psyché , for which he composed a Concert Italien . His first major composition was the masquerade La Galanterie du temps, which was staged in the Palais of Cardinal Jules Mazarin with the participation of the Petits violons . With the Petits violons (string group), which had existed since 1648 , Lully found his own ensemble, which could be used more flexibly than the established grande bande , which had already been established by Ludwig XIII. founded the so-called 24 violins of the king , which are considered to be the first permanent orchestra in music history. A serious rivalry arose between its director Guillaume Dumanoir and Jean de Cambefort , who had been responsible for dance music at the French court, and himself, the younger Lully. Other court musicians, on the other hand, promoted Lully, such as Regnault or the master of the Air de Cour Michel Lambert, who helped him set the French language to music. The latter became Louis XIV's chamber music master in 1661 and Lully's father-in-law.

Around Henri duc de Guise - here dressed for the Grand Carrousel - the resistance to Italian in French music was grouped.

Lully belonged to the group of Italian musicians in Paris, which was promoted by the influential Cardinal Mazarin - like Lully, a native of Italy. These included, for example, the Italian singer Anna Bergerotti , who promoted de young Lully. Lully wrote Italian-sounding pieces such as chaconnes , ritournelles and Italian vocal music, but regardless of his musical origins, he rose to become the main representative of French court dance and ballet de cour . With Amour malade, premiered on January 17, 1657, Lully achieved his breakthrough as a composer. The influence of Italian opera was also considerable here, replacing the traditional French (introductory) rézit in Amor malade with the innovation of a prologue . Lully excelled in this ballet as an actor in the role of Scaramouche , to whom a donkey is dedicating a dissertation . The very Italian touch of this composition was the reason for Henri duc de Guise to have the mascarade Plaisirs troublés performed with a lot of money in February 1657 with music composed by Louis de Mollier according to the French tradition.

Career at the court of Louis XIV.

Lully now belonged to the inner circle around the king. When he traveled to the Pyrenees with Mazarin in 1659 to prepare for the Pyrenees Peace Treaty , Lully accompanied him and composed, among other things, the Ballet de Toulouse. On August 29, 1660, three days after Ludwig's entry into Paris, Queen Marie-Thérèse was heard in the Église de la Merci in the presence of Queen Mother Anna of Austria (the celebrations of her marriage to the King were not yet over ) and Philippe I. de Bourbons , the king's brother, with great success Lully's peace motet Jubilate Deo , a motet de la Paix . Further church works followed in the years that followed, all of which brought Lully a special honor.

Lully faced a particular challenge when the cardinal also had the famous Italian opera composer Francesco Cavalli come to Paris. Paris had also seen Italian operas before: Luigi Rossi's works were often performed, and his opera Orfeo was particularly successful . Cavalli was now to write a festive opera for the wedding of Louis XIV with Marie-Thérèse under the title Ercole amante ( Hercules in love ), Lully composed the ballets. Due to organizational grievances, Cavalli had to fall back on an older work: Serse. For this, too, Lully composed the ballet interludes. This opera was finally performed on November 21, 1660 in the picture gallery of the Palais du Louvre .

After Mazarin's death on March 9, 1661, many Italians left France. Cavalli also returned to Venice .

On May 5, 1661, Louis XIV appointed Lully surintendant de la musique du roi , waiving the 10,000  livres that the office would have cost. Michel Lambert became Maître de musique de la chambre . From now on Lully composed the ballets alone, both the dances and the sung passages, the so-called récits .

In February 1662, two months after he had successfully asked the king for his naturalization, he took Magdelaine Lambert as his wife - not without pressure from the authorities, because it was necessary to conceal Lully's homosexuality . He kept a Florentine accent throughout his life and looked after an extended Italian-style family: his six children, relatives and their friends lived with him. After three moves, the Hôtel Lully in Paris' Rue Sainte-Anne became his permanent residence. In music, however, his previous style of Italian “ bouffon ”, a joker , disappeared . He composed his first completely purely French “Grand Ballet de cour” with the Ballet des Arts in 1663. The lyrics were written by Isaac de Benserade . Equally important for the success were his verses in the “ livret ”, which commented on what was danced on the stage.

Collaboration with Molière (1664–1671)

Molière (far left) with French and Italian comedians (1670)

The finance minister Nicolas Fouquet had a palace built in Vaux-le-Vicomte and hired the best artists in France for it: Louis Le Vau as the architect, André Le Nôtre for the gardens and Charles Lebrun , the first court painter and outstanding decorator for the design of the State rooms. On August 17, 1661, a great festival took place to which the king, his family and numerous guests were invited. They were entertained at eighty tables and on thirty buffets there were 6,000 solid silver plates. The music was provided by the most skilled instrumentalists, including the lutenist Michel Lambert and Lully. Lully, a friend of Molière , whose comedy Les Fâcheux ( The Troublesome ) was to be performed, had found him in a panic a few days earlier because he did not have enough actors available for the performance. The solution was a simple and ingenious idea: ballet numbers were inserted between the scenes to give the actors time to change clothes. Pierre Beauchamp and Lully arranged the ballet numbers, for which Lully only had to recompose one dance, a courante .

The performance was a great success and thus the first Comédie-ballet ("ballet comedy") was created out of a total of twelve. However, the expensive castle and lavish festival had angered the king. Soon afterwards he had Fouquet arrested and his possessions confiscated - and he himself began to expand his father's old hunting lodge into his most magnificent residence: Palace of Versailles .

Les plaisirs de l'île enchantée ( The joys of the magic island ) in Versailles 1664. Engraving by Israël Silvestre

When the first work in the park was completed in 1664, another huge festival was held, Les Plaisirs de l'îsle enchantée , which lasted from May 7th to 13th. Its climax was thematically aligned with the story from Ariost's Orlando furioso with the sorceress Alcina. It opened with a “Carrousel”, a horse ballet in which the court presented itself in costly costumes. The king himself led the procession, disguised as "Knight Roger". Molière's La Princesse d'Elide with Lully's music was performed and the seven-day festival was rounded off with the Ballet des Saisons ( Ballet of the Seasons ), in which among other things spring on a horse, summer on an elephant, autumn on a camel and the winter fed on a bear. Lully's music for it is lost. There were lotteries, banquets, balls and performances of other danced pieces by Molière-Lully: Les Fâcheux (May 11th), Le Mariage forcé ( The forced marriage , May 13th) and on the 12th the premiere of Tartuffe , which banned the piece followed. The festival culminated in the storming of the "Palace of Alcina" on an artificial island in the great canal of Versailles, which was set in an elaborate fireworks display. The description of the entire festival comes from André Félibien , documented by engravings by the "Graveur ordinaire du Roi" Israël Silvestre .

In the following years more ballet comedies emerged: George Dandin was given in 1668 as part of the (second) great festival of Versailles, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac the following year (also Le Divertissement de Chambord, Chambord 1669). Lully sang - he had the pitch of a baritone - under the pseudonym "Chiacchiarone", which was due to his position as "surintendant". But the two ballet comedies Les amants magnifiques ( The princes as courtiers ) and Le Bourgeois gentilhomme ( The citizen as nobleman ) had the greatest success in 1670 . The latter was aimed at the Turkish ambassador who had made a fool of himself at court.

In addition to working with Molière, Lully continued to compose the Ballets de Cour . The last was the Ballet Royal de Flore in 1669 , in which Louis XIV appeared for the third time as the sun, in the ballet comedy Les amants magnifiques , then for the fourth and last time - according to the livret printed and distributed in advance. In fact, after attacks of fever, he had renounced in favor of the Comte d'Armagnac and the Marquis des Villeroy. He gave up stage dancing at the age of 30, as Lully did in 1668.

In 1671, Lully and Molière created the Tragédie-ballet (ballet tragedy) Psyché ( Psyche ) to show the "greatest king in the world" heroics. Due to lack of time, Molière had to employ two more librettists , namely Pierre Corneille and, for the divertissements, Philippe Quinault , who from then on became Lully's librettist of choice. Nine different sets were used, all the gods of Olympus and a multitude of monsters and mythical creatures could be seen. Despite its length, the work was very successful. Performed in the Tuilerientheater, Psyché was by far the court's most expensive production at a cost of 334,645 livres ; Lully's operas only reached half of this amount in the following years.

When the Duke of Orléans, the king's brother, married Liselotte von der Pfalz in 1671 after the death of his first wife , the Ballet des Ballet was ordered. Lully and Molière created a pasticcio , a “pate” from successful scenes from their last joint works, but got into an argument during the work and parted in anger. The ballet was performed, but Molière's comedy La Comtesse d'Escarbagnas ( The Countess of Escarbagnas, December 1671) was already set to music by another: Marc-Antoine Charpentier , who also wrote the extensive incidental music for Molière's last work, Le malade imaginaire ( The Imaginary Sick ) wrote.

Die Tragédie lyrique (1672–1685)

Lully in court dress

After several different stage forms, in 1671 Robert Cambert , the then “Chef de la musique” of the Queen Mother Anna of Austria, together with the librettist Pierre Perrin, brought the first “really French opera” to the stage: Pomone. The success was, contrary to expectations, bombastic: "It ran eight months in front of sold-out houses". Lully watched their success with curiosity and envy. Perrin had officially received the patent for opera performances under the name "Académies d'Opéra" in 1669, of which "Pomone" was the opening opera. Lully managed to secure the transfer of the Academy's rights for himself. Cambert bitterly left Paris and went to London .

Lully now had the monopoly on the performance of operas, but he obtained other rights from the king. Any performance with music without his - the Surinant's - permission was forbidden and was punished with confiscation of all instruments, costumes, income, etc. This hit Molière particularly hard in the last year of his life, as all the texts for which Lully had composed music were now his property. Under the name Académie royale de musique , the institution was firmly in the hands of Lully. He now let everyone feel his power, which is why many respected composers and musicians allegedly left the court. An example of this is the founder of the French harpsichord school Jacques Champion de Chambonnières , who, however, had already sold the position of court harpsichordist to Jean-Henry d'Anglebert , a friend of Lully, as early as 1662 .

In 1672, the year the privilege was granted, Lully finally staged his first opera, the Pastorale Les Fêtes de l'Amour et de Bacchus. Here, due to lack of time, he followed the model of the Ballet des Ballet, so it became a pasticcio. All of the following Tragédies Lullys consist of a prologue and five acts. Each act also has a divertissement (a generous scene with ballet) and choir interludes. (The Italian opera at that time had three acts)

In 1673, Cadmus et Hermione , Lully's first tragédie lyrique , began the series of specifically French operas every year from then on. Alceste followed in 1674 , premiered in the Marble Court of Versailles as the highlight of the festivities, and Thésée in 1675 . That year saw the start of the Guichard affair , in which Lully did not look good, although Henry Guichard had to leave the field in the end. The latter had obtained a privilege similar to that of Lully, namely for the performance of plays, that of the Académie royale des spectacles . Only the music was missing to perfect it, but Lully didn’t take anything away. A singer told him of Guichard's alleged plans to poison him with arsenic mixed with snuff , and Lully brought a lawsuit over it that he ultimately never won. Conversely, from 1676 onwards, Guichard drew him extensively through the mud with revelations about his private life. This embarrassed Carlo Vigarani , the set designer and theater architect, partner in Lully's opera, who also worked for Guichard for three years.

In 1676 Atys was given. Since the king was supposedly involved in the composition and sat with Lully for a long time to complete the work, the tragedy was subtitled The King's Opera . Here Lully dispenses with timpani and trumpets in order to achieve a dark, rough sound. In a slumber scene, the young Marin Marais appeared as one of the dreams.

Isis followed in 1677 . The idiosyncratic opera was not very successful. The strange plot proposed by Philippe Quinault was criticized and Lully's music was felt to be too intellectual. The opera was subtitled The Opera of the Musicians, because musicians and musically educated viewers were enthusiastic about the work.

In 1678 Lully worked the tragédie-ballet Psyché into an opera with the help of the librettists Thomas Corneille and Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle ; the spoken dialog has been replaced by singing.

In 1679 Bellérophon came on stage, again in cooperation with Thomas Corneille. A remarkable innovation was the accompaniment of the recitative by the string ensemble. Proserpine followed in 1680, and a court ballet, Le Triomphe de l'Amour , on the king's orders in 1681 . Louis XIV wanted the old court ballets to be revived. The piece was danced by the king's descendants, and it became one of Lully's most famous works. Before Proserpine , Lully and Carlo Vigarani went their separate ways , whose successor Jean Bérain became a set designer at the Opera Academy instead of partnering with only employed artists. Although he designed admirable stage costumes, he failed to operate the theater machines , which is why he was replaced after Proserpine by the Italian Ercole Rivani . But he asked Lully 5,000 livres a year for this, which in 1682 dropped work on Bérain again.

In 1682 the court finally moved to Versailles. On this occasion Persée was given. With this work, the opera house at Versailles was inaugurated ninety years later, on May 17, 1770 , for the wedding of the future Louis XVI. with Marie Antoinette . This speaks for the importance that was still attributed to Lully's works in the 18th century.

Marie-Thérèse, Queen of France, died in 1683, so the performances of Phaëton were postponed to 1684, as did those of Lully's most successful work, Amadis . Amadis was then performed every year as long as the king was alive. Furthermore, Lully and Quinault turned away from mythology and sang French knight reps , which have the defense of the faith as the highest ideal as their content. The repeal of the Edict of Nantes should also leave its mark on music.

The crash (1685–1687)

In 1685 the opera was given to Roland . Around this time it came to a head when it became public that Lully was having an affair with a page named Brunet; in addition, there was his participation in the orgies of the Dukes of Orléans and Vendôme . The king submitted to Lully, who had meanwhile been appointed Secrétaire du Roi , advisor to the king and ennobled, that he was no longer willing to tolerate his behavior.

Lully wrote to the king asking for forgiveness. He was almost successful: The Marquis de Seignelay, son of Jean-Baptiste Colbert , had commissioned a work from him, Idylle sur la Paix . Jean Racine wrote the text for it . The king, who attended the performance in Sceaux , was extremely impressed by the latest work of his lord-in-chief; he had Lully repeat large sections.

Armide was premiered in 1686 , but not at court, but in Paris, the king no longer received him. However, Lully hoped to regain the king's protection. His next opera, which he composed for Louis-Joseph Duc de Vendôme on a libretto by Jean Galbert de Campistron, was a subtle homage to the heir to the throne and thus to the king. Acis et Galatée was heard on September 6, 1686 in Anet Castle on the occasion of a Dauphin's hunting party. In the preface to the score dedicated to the king, Lully wrote that he felt a “certainty” in himself that “lifts him above himself” and “fills him with a divine spark”. At the end of 1686, probably after the resumption of Acis et Galatée in Paris, the regent informed him that he intended to create living space for the Duke of Chartres in the Palais Royal and that Lully had to leave the theater. The latter then wanted to build an opera in the rue Saint-André-des-arts and bought a plot of land there.

Jean Baptiste Lully's grave in Notre-Dame-des-Victoires
Inscription of the grave

In 1687 Lully worked on his opera Achille et Polixène . During this time the king developed serious health problems. On November 18th, the doctor Charles-François Félix de Tassy had to remove a dangerous fistula from the monarch's buttocks. Richelieu died in such an operation. De Tassy practiced in the hospital of Versailles on fellow sufferers of the king who had been brought in and removed the ulcer with success. The king's death was expected, but he recovered. For the celebration of recovery, Lully edited his Te Deum, composed in 1678, and had it performed with 150 musicians at his own expense. By Jean-Laurent Le Cerf de La Viéville was described in 1705 that Lully at the performance of the motet on January 8, 1687 in the Église des Pères Feuillants hit his toe with the used for beating the clock floor. The small wound quickly became infected and infected with gangrene . Lully refused to have his toe amputated and died a few months later. He was buried in Notre-Dame-des-Victoires with great sympathy. In contemporary literature or in illustrations, however, there is no evidence of conducting with long sticks - mostly a rolled up sheet of paper in one or both hands was used. Perhaps Lully wanted to call the musicians present to the attention with a walking stick.

His last opera was completed by his secretary Pascal Collasse . His sons Jean and Louis de Lully, together with his pupil Marin Marais , succeeded him in the office of Surintendant until the king transferred the office to Michel-Richard Delalande .

The Lully Foothills on Alexander I Island in Antarctica have been carrying his name since 1961 and the asteroid (8676) Lully since 1992 .

Lully's music and meaning

Forerunner of the modern orchestra

Performance of Lully's Alceste in Versailles, 1674

With his new orchestral discipline, Lully not only significantly shaped the French style, but also exerted a great influence on musical practice at the end of the 17th century.

Typical of the sound of his orchestra are the five-part string composition, the mixture of strings and winds, and the orchestra, which was large for its time. The king's 24 violins formed the core of the ensemble; Then there are the 12 oboes ( Lully is said to have played a key role in the further development of the shawm into the oboe), as well as recorders and transverse flutes , an extensive continuo group with lutes , guitars , harpsichord, etc. and, in certain scenes, timpani and trumpets . The “display” of new instruments such as the transverse flute or the “French trio ” made up of two oboes and a bassoon were also popular . These instruments had solo appearances in many dances and instrumental pieces, mostly even on stage. In the subsequent German tradition, the French trio was often used, e.g. B. from Telemann and Fasch . In the early years Lully himself played the first violin in his ensemble, often in the scores of Philidor -Sammlung terms like "M. de Lully joue ”(“ Herr von Lully plays ”), the violin part should then be presented with improvised decorations .

The overture

The French overture with a first part in a grave dotted rhythm followed by a fast, imitated part and at the end (sometimes) a resumption of the first tempo is only partly a new creation by Lully. His predecessors, teachers and contemporaries such as Jean de Cambefort , François Caroubel, Nicolas Dugap, Jacques de Montmorency de Bellville, Jacques Cordier, Pierre Beauchamps, Guillaume Dumanoir , Michel Mazuel, Mignot de la Voye and Robert Cambert already wrote overtures, or rather opening music for the court ballets. These overtures have nothing to do with the Italian operatic symphonies as composed by Monteverdi , Luigi Rossi or Francesco Cavalli and Antonio Cesti . The French orchestral style was already in the time of Louis XIII. and his ballet masters and can be traced back to the establishment of the group of 24 violins - Lully's work consists primarily in the continuation of the tradition of his predecessors. But while the old overtures were rather solemn, Lully added a fugal part to them. In 1660 such a “new” overture was performed for the first time in the ballet Xerxes . Since then, this form has been maintained. Almost all of his works begin with such an overture, with the exception of Les Fêtes de l'Amour et de Bacchus , which still open with an ancient ritual .

The French opera

Lully, Thesée , beginning of the 4th act

The greatest merit of Lully lies in the founding of the French national opera. As in all areas of art, Louis XIV demanded a separate French form of expression in music. In Lully and his librettist Philippe Quinault he found masters who put his ideas into practice. With the operatic form of tragedy lyrique they created , Lully and Quinault succeeded in creating their own form of opera, which was formally based on the great classical tragedies of important writers such as Corneille or Racine . On this basis, Lully developed his operas as a total work of art, including large choral scenes and dance in the form of ballet, which is traditionally important for France. With this he was able to satisfy the expectations of the king and the French public.

Each of his operas is divided into five acts and a prologue . Only classical subjects were dealt with, such as knight reps or stories from Greco-Roman mythology . The prologue, the content of which was only loosely connected to the subsequent tragedy, served to glorify the king and his “acts of glory”. It begins and ends with the overture and usually consists less of recitatives and more of a divertissement with airs, choirs and ballet. The five acts of the tragedies are written in verse that are declaimed in the form of the French recitative . Each of the five acts has a further divertissement with arias, choral scenes and ballet, mostly - but not always - at the end. Certain scenes became the standard, such as the poetic dream scenes ("Sommeil", e.g. in Atys ), pompous battles ("Combats"), the storms ("Vents") and the concluding large chaconnas and passacailles , often with soloists and Choir.

French singing style and forms

The French opera was conceived from the beginning as a counterpoint to the established Italian opera. The difference starts with the voices and voices used. The Italian baroque opera was inconceivable without the perfectly trained virtuosity of the male castrato voices . Together with the female prima donnas, this led to a clear emphasis on high soprano and alto voices, there were only a few roles for low voices and almost no tenors at all. In France castration was rejected; therefore all types of male voices are present in leading roles in French opera. A typical French voice is the haute-contre , a high, soft tenor, almost an alto.

Another difference is the use of choirs in French opera.

Lully: Recitative from Atys , Act V, Scene 4 (excerpt)

The French recitative developed by Lully and Lambert is particularly striking compared to Italian opera . It is based on the theatrical declamation of French tragedy and is a further development of the Air de Cour . It differs markedly from the Italian recitative, which is notated in straight bar but performed freely; on the other hand, meter changes are frequent in French recitative , so there are occasionally different straight meters such as C, 2 or Allabreve and triple meters such as 3/2 or 3 (= 3/4 ). The rhythm is based very precisely on the style of French. Recited passages can turn into small ariosi or song-like airs , so the transitions between dramatic declamation and (softer) singing are fluid. Lully even used two-part passages in some recitatives, and there may also be interjections from a choir (e.g. in Atys ).

The French airs also differ from the arias in Italian opera. The French singing style basically had little in common with the Italian bel canto , and French singers could not technically have been able to compete with the great Italian castrato and prima donnas. A syllabic style of singing is typical of French opera : each syllable is given one, not several, tones; Long runs or difficult coloratura like in Italian bel canto are taboo (apart from rare exceptions, which must be motivated by the text or the situation). Therefore, the airs of Lully's tragèdie lyrique seem relatively simple, apart from the occasional suspense and notated trills and mordents . (With the Italians, improvisation of the decorations was a good performance.) Many airs by Lully and his successors correspond formally to one of the contemporary dances, e.g. B. the menuet or the gavotte , and are often accompanied by the corresponding stage dance. Such airs can also be repeated by a choir. The Italian da capo aria with its improvised cadenza in the repeated (“da capo”) A section does not exist in French opera.

Lully: “Enfin il est en ma puissance” from Armide (1686), sung by Guillemette Laurens , 1992

A famous scene is Armide's monologue from the tragèdie lyrique of the same name : Enfin il est en ma puissance! (Act II, scene 5). Contemporaries, like Jean-Philippe Rameau later, regarded this passage as the ideal of French operatic art.

Aftermath in France

In France, Lully's style remained binding for another hundred years or so. The forms he gave the tragédie lyrique with its singing style and the ballet were not touched. It was even taboo to set a text that Lully had already set to music again. The French composers, who were the direct successors of Lully, composed their operas entirely in his style. They included Pascal Collasse , Marc-Antoine Charpentier , André Campra , André Cardinal Destouches , Marin Marais , and later Jean Marie Leclair , François Francœur , Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville and Antoine Dauvergne . Only Jean-Philippe Rameau dared a more modern style and some innovations, especially in the area of ​​instrumentation and the virtuoso handling of the orchestra, which partially split the Parisian audience into "Lullysten" and "Ramisten".

With the founding of the Concert spirituel in Paris in 1725 and the more and more frequently performed Italian concerts, the aversion to Italian music gave way. When an Italian troupe performed Pergolesi's La serva padrona in Paris, an open conflict broke out between supporters of traditional French opera and supporters of the new opera buffa . Contemporaries report that it was often like in religious wars there, at least as far as the diatribes are concerned. This Buffonist dispute went down in history and was only settled years later with the first performances of Gluck's operas . With Gluck, the opera of the Ancien Régime gradually disappeared , Lully, Campra and Rameau were hardly played any more. Nevertheless, Gluck and his epigones learned a great deal from the dramatic French declamation and syllabic chant of French opera as invented by Lully. This can also be heard in Gluck's French operas ( Iphigénie en Tauride , Iphigénie en Aulide , Alceste ). It is no coincidence that his opera reform in France had the greatest and, above all, lasting success - the French audience was prepared for dramatic singing without coloratura.

International influence

Even today much better known composers such as Georg Friedrich Handel were influenced by Lully's music.

Ever since the Plaisirs de l'îsle enchantée , the French court, Versailles and the glamorous person of the “Sun King” had an immense fascination. French language and culture set the tone, and there was also great interest in French music. However, the tragédie lyrique was not very well received, since at the same time and before the Italian opera had started its triumphal march. The French opera could not counter this enough with its emphasis on dramatic declamation and its comparatively “harmless” airs. Outside France there were only a few courts where entire operas by Lully were performed.

Nevertheless, some composers were inspired by French opera. This is especially true of Henry Purcell . In England, musical development from 1660 onwards was influenced by the Francophile taste of the Stuart kings Charles II and James II ; this also applies to the music of Locke, Humfrey, Blow and Purcell. In Dido and Aeneas and in his semi-operas, Purcell uses e.g. B. incorporate the chorus in a way that goes back to Lully. Arias and dances are also influenced by French, albeit with a strong English note. In general, one can say that the musical interludes of the semi-operas are actually divertissements in the English way. Purcell's famous frost scene in the third act of King Arthur (1692) probably goes back directly to the "Choir of the Trembling" in Lully's Isis (1677). Some composers of early German opera were also inspired by Lully, especially Reinhard Keizer .

Lully's influence was particularly noticeable in baroque orchestral music: the overtures and dances of his operas and ballets circulated as suites in printed form all over Europe and made a significant contribution to the creation of the orchestral suite . Copies of Lully's works could be found in almost every music library of a prince. Not only was Lully's music collected at German royal courts, but French musicians were also employed. Even if Lully's operas were still in the making, there were already black copies of his completed scenes that were sold on the black market.

Many young musicians came to Paris to study with Lully. These students should become the so-called European "Lullists": Pelham Humfrey , Johann Sigismund Kusser , Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer , Agostino Steffani , Georg Muffat and others. They made the style of Lully and the music from the court of the Sun King popular especially in Germany and England. Not only was the form of the French overture spread, but also dances such as Menuet, Gavotte, Bourrée , Rigaudon , Loure , even such imprecisely defined genres as Air or Entrée , and the French forms of Chaconne and Passacaille spread throughout Europe.

The overture suite “in French manner” was the most important orchestral genre in Germany in the first half of the 18th century, along with the Italian concerto, but with stylistic innovations and also Italian, concertante influences: first and foremost by Georg Philipp Telemann , Johann Joseph Fux , and Philipp Heinrich Erlebach , Johann Friedrich Fasch and Christoph Graupner . The orchestral suites by Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Friedrich Händel - the Wassermusik and the Musick for the Royal Fireworks - are also based on the forms established by Lully. Handel used the overture in the French style all his life, even in his Italian operas. His opera Teseo (1713) was based on Quinault's libretto to Lully's Thésée and therefore has, unusually, five acts, but is otherwise an Italian opera with Dacapo arias.

The minuet of the classical symphonies by Haydn and Mozart ultimately goes back to Lully.

The work

Sacred vocal works

Grands motets

  1. Jubilate Deodorant (August 29, 1660)
  2. Miserere (23 (?) March 1663)
  3. Benedictus Dominus (1663 or 1664)
  4. O lachrymae (1664 (?))
  5. Plaude laetare Gallia (March 24, 1668)
  6. Te Deum (September 9, 1677)
  7. De profundis (May 1683)
  8. Dies irae (September 1, 1683)
  9. Quare Fremduerunt (April 19, 1685)
  10. Domine salvum fac regem (1685 (?))
  11. Notus in Judea (1685 or 1686)
  12. Exaudiat Te Domine (1687).

Petits motets

  1. Anima Christi
  2. Ave coeli munus supernum
  3. Dixit Dominus
  4. Domine salvum fac regem
  5. Exaudi Deus deprecationem
  6. Laudate pueri Dominum
  7. O dulcissime domine
  8. Omnes gentes
  9. O sapientia in misterio
  10. Regina Coeli
  11. Salve Regina .

Secular vocal works

  1. Dialogue de la guerre avec la paix (1655, music lost)
  2. Ingrate bergère (1664, text: Octave de Périgny)
  3. Anunque prodigoas
  4. Pure scoca tutti
  5. A la fin petit desfarges
  6. D'un beau pêcheur la pêche malheureux
  7. Un tendre coeur rempli d'ardeur
  8. Courage, Amour, le paix est faite (1661, text: Benserade )
  9. Non vi è più piacer (music lost)
  10. Le printemps, aimable Sylvie (Text: Benserade; Music lost)
  11. Tous les jours cent bergères (text: Perrin, music lost)
  12. Viens, mon aimable bergère (text: Perrin, music lost)
  13. Qui les saura, mes secrètes amours (Text: Perrin)
  14. Où êtes-vous allé, les belles amourettes
  15. Vous mêlons toute notre gloria
  16. Pendant que ces flambeaux
  17. La langueur des beaux yeux (music lost)
  18. On dit que vos yeux sont trompeurs (text: Octave de Périgny, music lost)
  19. Que vous connaissez peu trop aimable Chimène (text: Quinault , music lost)
  20. Si je n'ai parlé de ma flamme (music lost)
  21. En ces lieux je ne vois que de promenades (Text: Lully, Musik verschollen)
  22. Ah qu'il est doux de se rendre (text: Quinault, music lost)
  23. J'ai fait serment, cruelle (text: Quinault, music lost)
  24. Le printemps ramène la verdure (Text: Lully (?); Music lost)
  25. Depuis que l'on soupire (text: Quinault, music lost)
  26. Sans mentir on est bien misérable (Music lost)
  27. Venerabilis barba capucinorum
  28. Il faut mourir, pécheur (1687).

Stage works

Ballets de cour, mascarades and divertissements

  1. Mascarade de la foire Saint-Germain (lyricist unknown, March 7, 1652, music lost)
  2. Ballet du temps (joint work, text: Benserade December 3, 1654)
  3. Ballet des plaisirs (collaboration with Louis de Mollier , text: Benserade, February 4, 1655)
  4. Le Grand Ballet des bienvenus (collaborative work, text: Benserade, May 30, 1655, music lost)
  5. Ballet de Psyché ou la puissance de l'Amour (collective work, text: Benserade, January 16, 1656, music lost)
  6. La Galanterie du temps (Text: Francesco Buti , February 3, 1656, music lost)
  7. Amour malade (Text. Francesco Buti, January 17, 1657)
  8. Ballet d'Alcidiane (collaboration with J.-B. Boesser and L. de Mollier, text: Benserade, February 14, 1658)
  9. Ballet de la raillerie (collaboration with L. de Mollier, text: Benserade, February 19, 1659)
  10. Les Débris du ballet du Roy (music from the Ballet de la raillerie, 1659 (?))
  11. Ballet de Toulouse (November / December 1659 (?))
  12. Ballet de la revente des habits de ballet et de comédie (Text: Benserade, December 15, 1660)
  13. Ballet de l'impatience (collaboration with Pierre Beauchamps and Francois Hillaire d'Olivet, text: Benserade, Buti, February 19, 1661)
  14. Ballet des saisons (Text: Benserade, July 26, 1661)
  15. Ballet des arts (joint work with M. Lambert, text: Benserade, January 8, 1663)
  16. Les Noces de village (Text: Benserade, 3 or 4 October 1663)
  17. Les Amours déguisés (joint work with M. Lambert, text: Octave de Périgny, February 13, 1664)
  18. Divertissement pour la collation des Plaisirs de l'île enchanté (May 7, 1664)
  19. Ballet du palais d'Alcine (Text: Molière , May 9, 1664)
  20. Ballet de la naissance de Vénus (joint work with M. Lambert and L. de Mollier, text: Benserade, January 28, 1665)
  21. La Réception faite par un gentilhomme de campagne à une compagnie choisie à sa mode qui le vient visiter (Text: Benserade, February 1665, music lost)
  22. Le Triomphe de Bacchus dans les Indes (lyricist unknown, January 9, 1666)
  23. Ballet des Muses (Text: Benserade, December 2, 1666)
  24. Le Carnaval (Text: Benserade, January 18, 1668)
  25. La Grotte de Versailles (Text: Quinault, April (?) 1668)
  26. Ballet de Flore (Text: Benserade, February 13, 1669)
  27. Le Triomphe de l'Amour et de Bacchus (Text: Benserade, Quinault, January 21, 1681)
  28. Le Noce de village (March 1683)
  29. L'Idylle sur la paix (Text: Jean Racine , July 16, 1685)
  30. Le Temple de la paix (Text: Quinault, October 20, 1685).

Intermedien, Comédies-ballets

  1. Xerxès (6 entrées for Francesco Cavalli's opera, November 22, 1660)
  2. Hercule amoureux (18 entrées for Cavalli's opera Hercules amante, February 7, 1662)
  3. Le Mariage forcé (Text: Molière, January 29, 1664)
  4. Les Plaisirs de l'île enchantée / La Princesse d'Elide (joint work with M. Lambert, text: Molière, 7/8 May 1664)
  5. Oedipe (Text: Pierre Corneille , August 3, 1664)
  6. Le Favori / Le Ballet des grands ou les délices de la campagne (Text: Marie-Catherine Desjardins ; Prologue and intermédes by Molière, June 13, 1665)
  7. L'amour médecin (Text: Molière, September 14, 1665)
  8. La Pastorale comique (Text: Molière, January 5, 1667)
  9. Les Sicilien ou l'Amour peintre (Text: Molière, 8 (?) February 1667)
  10. George Dandin / Le Grand divertissement de Versailles (Text: Molière, July 18, 1668)
  11. Monsieur de Pourceaugnac / Le divertissement de Chambord (Text: Molière, Lully, October 6, 1669)
  12. Les Amants magnifiques (Text: Molière, February 4, 1670)
  13. Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (Text: Molière, October 14, 1670)
  14. Britannicus (text: Racine, 1670, music lost)
  15. Psyché (Text: Molière, Corneille, Quinault, Lully, January 17, 1671)
  16. La Comtesse d'Escarbagnas / Ballet des ballets (Text: Molière, December 2, 1671).

Tragédies en musique , Pastorale, Pastorale héroïque

  1. Les Fêtes de l'Amour et de Bacchus (Libretto: Quinault, Benserade, Perigny, Molière, Lully, November 11, 1672)
  2. Cadmus et Hermione (Libretto: Quinault, around April 15, 1673)
  3. Alceste ou Le Triomphe d'Alcide (Libretto: Quinault, 28 (?) January 1674)
  4. Thésée (Libretto: Quinault, January 11, 1675)
  5. Atys (Libretto. Quinault, January 10, 1676)
  6. Isis (Libretto: Quinault, January 5, 1677)
  7. Psyché (Libretto: Thomas Corneille, April 19, 1678) Choeur des divinités de la terre et des eaux, from Psyché (1687) - Midi file ? / iAudio file / audio sample
  8. Bellérophon (Libretto: Thomas Corneille, B. le Bovier de Fontenelle, January 31, 1679)
  9. Proserpine (Libretto: Quinault, February 3, 1680)
  10. Persée (Libretto: Quinault, April 18, 1682)
  11. Phaëton (Libretto: Quinault, January 6, 1683)
  12. Amadis (Libretto: Quinault, January 18, 1684)
  13. Roland (Libretto: Quinault, January 8, 1685)
  14. Armide (Libretto: Quinault, February 15, 1686)
  15. Acis et Galatée (Libretto: JG de Campistron, September 6, 1686)
  16. Achille et Polixène (libretto: JG de Campistron, only overture and act 1 by Lully, acts 2–5 by Pascal Collasse , November 7, 1687).

Instrumental works

  1. Première marche des mousquetaires (1658)
  2. 10 Branles (1665)
  3. 3 Gavottes (1665)
  4. Passacaille (1665)
  5. 3 Courantes (1665)
  6. 3 Bourrées (1665)
  7. Allemande (1665)
  8. Boutade (1665)
  9. Gaillarde (1665)
  10. 3 sarabands (1665)
  11. 18 trios de la chambre du roi
  12. Marches et batteries de Tambour (1670)
  13. Folie d'Espagne, March (1672)
  14. Marche de Savoye, Airs, L'Asemblée, La Retraite
  15. Pleusiers (6) pieces de symphonie (1685)
  16. Airs pour le carrousel de Monseigneur (May 28, 1685)
  17. 17 airs
  18. La descente des armes (march)
  19. Marches des gardes de la marine, des fusillers, des dragons, du prince d'Orange
  20. various individual pieces (3 Allemanden, 14 Couranten, 4 Sarabanden, 2 Bourrées, 4 Chaconnes, La Bourse, Trio, Menuet, La Trivelinade, Gigue).


Literature (selection)

  • Jürgen Eppelsheim: The orchestra in the works of Jean-Baptiste Lully . Verlag Schneider, Tutzing 1961 (Munich publications on music history; 7).
  • Jérôme de la Gorce (ed.): Source studies on Jean-Baptiste Lully - l'oeuvre de Lully. Etudes des sources. Tribute to Lionel Sawkins . Olms, Hildesheim 1999, ISBN 3-487-11040-7 (musicological publications; 13).
  • Emmanuel Haymann: Lulli . Flammarion, Paris 1991, ISBN 2-08-066452-2 .
  • Sabine Flamme-Brüne: The dancing king with illustrations by Ilya Barrett, Simon Verlag für Bibliothekswissen, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-940862-48-8 .
  • Wolfgang Ruf in connection with Annette van Dyck-Hemming (Ed.): Riemann Music Lexicon. Schott, Mainz 2012.
  • Herbert Schneider : The reception of Lully's operas in the France of the Ancien Régime . Verlag Hans Schneider, Tutzing 1982, ISBN 3-7952-0335-X (plus Habilitation, University of Mainz 1976).
  • Herbert Schneider : Article Lully. In: MGG2 , Vol. 11, 2004, with a complete catalog raisonné.


  • The king is dancing. (OT: Le Roi danse ) French feature film from 2000. Gérard Corbiau made a film about Lully's life at the court of Louis XIV.
  • Lully, an uncomfortable composer. (OT: Lully, l'incommode. ) Documentary, France, 2008, 92 min., Script and director: Olivier Simonnet, production: arte France, Camera lucida Productions, German first broadcast: December 28, 2009 in arte, film information from arte and The beginning of the film as an online video (3:04 min.), Among others with the singers Philippe Jaroussky , Véronique Gens , the conductors Patrick Cohën-Akenine and Christina Pluhar , and the orchestra Les Folies Françoises .

Web links

Commons : Jean-Baptiste Lully  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Herbert Schneider : Article Lully. MGG2 , Vol. 11, 2004, Col. 582.
  2. ^ Dorling Kindersley Verlag: Compact & Visuell Classical Music . Munich, ISBN 978-3-8310-3136-8 , pp. 88-89 .
  3. ^ Wording in Herbert Schneider 2004, MGG2 vol. 11, col. 578: " Compagnia del Sagramento in Santa Croce".
  4. Schneider 2004, MGG2 Vol. 11, Col. 578-579.
  5. Schneider 2004: MMG2, Vol 11, column 579th.
  6. Jérôme de La Gorce: Jean-Baptiste Lully , Librairie Arthème Fayard, [Paris] 2002, p. 43.
  7. Schneider 2004, MGG2, Vol. 11, Col. 579 f.
  8. Including in Mascarade de la foire Saint-Germain (masquerade at the fair of Saint-Germain). Schneider 2004, MGG2, vol. 11, col. 580.
  9. de La Gorce 2002: p. 57.
  10. ^ A b Philippe Beaussant : Lully ou Le Musicien du Soleil , Gallimard / Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, [Paris] 1992, p. 97.
  11. ^ Philippe Beaussant: Lully ou Le Musicien du Soleil , Gallimard / Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, [Paris] 1992, p. 97.
  12. Wolfgang Ruf: Riemann Musik Lexikon 2012, vol. 3, article Lambert, Michel p. 151.
  13. a b de La Gorce 2002: p. 97 f.
  14. de La Gorce 2002: p. 79.
  15. de La Gorce 2002: p. 386.
  16. Schneider 2004, MGG2, Vol. 11, Col. 581.
  17. Schneider 2004, MGG2, Vol. 11, Col. 581.
  18. Wolfgang Ruf: Riemann Musik Lexikon 2012, vol. 3, article Lully , p. 249 and vol. 4, p. 276 (article Récit ).
  19. Beaussant 1992: p. 240 f.
  20. Beaussant 1992: p. 260.
  21. Uwe Schultz : The ruler of Versailles. Ludwig XIV and his time , Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2006, p. 80 f.
  22. ^ Schneider 2004, MGG2, vol. 11, catalog raisonné Sp. 588.
  23. Ulf Küster (Ed.): Theatrum Mundi. The world as a stage. Catalog Haus der Kunst Munich, Ed. Minerva 2003, pp. 110–112 (description and pictures).
  24. Beaussant 1992: p. 363.
  25. de La Gorce 2002: p. 156 f.
  26. ^ John S. Powell: Introduction . In: Ders. And Herbert Schneider (eds.): Jean-Baptiste Lully / Molière (avec la collaboration de Pierre Corneille et de Philippe Quinault): "Psyché" Tragi-Comédie et Ballet , Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim / Zurich / New York 2007, p. Xxi.
  27. Alec Robertson, Denis Stevens (ed.): History of Music. II Renaissance and Baroque. German edition Prestel, Munich 1990, p. 374, ISBN 3-88199-711-3 .
  28. Riemann 2012, Vol. 1, Article Cambert, Robert , pp. 327-328.
  29. Cambert's stage works in Operone .
  30. Jérôme de La Gorce: Carlo Vigarani, intendant des plaisirs de Louis XIV , Editions Perrin / Etablissement public du musée et du domaine national de Versailles, 2005, p. 197 f.
  31. de La Gorce 2002: p. 630.
  32. Jérôme de La Gorce: Berain. Dessinateur du Roi Soleil , Editions Herscher, Paris 1986, p. 19
  33. ^ Herbert Schneider: The reception of Lully's operas in the France of the ancien régime. Tutzing 1982. (All Lully operas are dealt with).
  34. Jérôme de La Gorce: L'opéra à Paris au temps de Louis XIV. Histoire d'un théâtre , Paris 1992, p. 77 f.
  35. Schultz 2006: p. 298 f.
  36. Beaussant 1992: p. 789.
  37. ^ Jürgen Eppelsheim: The orchestra in the works of Jean-Baptiste Lully. Schneider, Tutzing 1961, therein: Das Instrumentarium , p. 36 f.
  38. Compare Riemann Musik Lexikon 2012, Vol. 4, Article Overture , p. 91, 2nd section f.
  39. Riemann Musik Lexikon 2012, Vol. 4, Article Quinault, Philippe , p. 246, u. a.
  40. Compare overall: Rénee Girardon: Article France, E. 17th century […] . In: MGG1 , Vol. 4, 1955, Col. 762 below-764.
  41. Riemann Musik Lexikon 2012, vol. 4, article recitative p. 310, middle ff.
  42. Riemann Musik Lexikon 2012, Vol. 1, Article Air p. 36.
  43. cf. Rénee Girardon: Article France, E. 17th century […] . In: MGG1, Vol. 4, 1955, Col. 768 and 770.
  44. For comparison: Ivana Rentsch : French Music (= European history online) .
  45. Riemann Musik Lexikon 2012, vol. 5, article suite , p. 155, col. 2.
  46. Riemann Musik Lexikon 2012. Vol. 3, Article Menuett , p. 342 f.
  47. Le Triomphe de l'Amour et de Bacchus , digitized on Gallica
  48. Jean-Baptiste Lully - An Inconvenient Composer in the Baroque (from 1:32:04) on YouTube , May 22, 2020, accessed on June 11, 2020.


  1. It must be said, however, that Chambonnières was over 60 years old at this point in time, and is said to have found it beneath his dignity to play the continuo part in Lully's works. Others claim he couldn't.
  2. Lully was the godfather of d'Anglebert's first son.
  3. The king's brother ("Monsieur") was homosexual and not only had love affairs with handsome men, but also a firm partnership with the Chevalier de Lorraine, who was considered an ice-cold intriguer and had been exiled by the king in 1670; there were rumors (unconfirmed to this day) that he and other friends of Monsieur had poisoned his first wife Henriette . Other gentlemen of the court also indulged in “Italian customs”, as they were called at the time. There were also some criminal incidents; For example, a drunken clique of courtiers molested (or raped?) a small pastry seller and then "stabbed" it with two swords. A number of "distinguished people accused of ultramontan debauchery" - e.g. Some of the high nobility - had already been banished by the king in June 1682, including the king's biological son with Mademoiselle de La Vallière and the Count of Vermandois, then only 14 or 15 years old and involved in "homosexual orgies". He was sent to the army in Flanders and died there at the age of 16 ... See: The court of Ludwig XIV. In eyewitness reports , Munich: dtv, 1964/1981, pp. 64–83 and pp. 191–200.
  4. As in many other processes, including the repeal of the Edict of Nantes, the king's intervention is attributed by some to the influence of Madame de Maintenon . She had been the king's secret wife since 1683, and she is said not to have liked either Lully's music or the composer himself, whose homosexuality she, as a strictly religious woman, did not tolerate. The hypotheses about the supposedly negative influence of the Maintenon are viewed with skepticism nowadays, also because she herself had many envious people. T. was hated abysmally, for example by the sister-in-law of King Lieselotte of the Palatinate.
  5. It is said that Madame de Maintenon stood in the way of reconciliation.
  6. in contrast to the four-part sentence in Italy
  7. From today's perspective, the prologue is the weakest part of the tragédie lyrique and should be seen as political propaganda with music.
  8. Monteverdi's choirs in his L'Orfeo did not prevail. In Italian baroque opera there is sometimes a “choir” at the end, but it is often sung by all the soloists together (for example in Handel).
  9. In the field of instrumental music, however, there had been efforts since around 1700 to integrate Italian stylistic elements into French music, e. B. by Marin Marais, François Couperin , Jean François Dandrieu and others