Robert Cambert

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Bust of Robert Cambert on the facade of the Opéra Garnier in Paris

Robert Cambert (* around 1628 in Paris , † March 1677 in London ) was a French organist and composer .


Robert Cambert was a student of Jacques Champion de Chambonnières . He initially worked as an organist at the collegiate church of St. Honoré . After 1672 Cambert failed because of the royal privilege to perform Jean-Baptiste Lully's operas, to bring his stage works to the performance. He left France in 1673 for London, where he was involved in founding the Royal Academy of Music , but was unable to gain a foothold artistically in the few years left in his life.

His stage works ( Pastoralen ), which he created together with the librettist Pierre Perrin (1620–1675), set the style for the early development of French opera. Cambert left behind a few “Airs” and “Airs à boire”, in the preface of which he is mentioned as a composer of motets. François Roberday mentions Cambert in the preface to his fugues as a composer of organ music. Nothing has survived of his compositions and stage works created in England, some of which were performed at the royal court.

His daughter Marie-Anne Cambert was a harpsichordist and married to the composer and violinist Michel Farinel . She worked with this temporarily in Spain.

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