In late February 1653, just after the Fronde rebellion, the most influential spectacle of the early reign of Louis XIV was presented at the Louvre: the Ballet Royal de la Nuit. Grandiose, and carefully elaborated at the highest levels of the state, the libretto by Benserade called upon the finest artists of the time. Banishing the troubles of night, Louis XIV danced in the Sun King costume that would henceforth be forever associated with him. This unmissable world premiere recording presents a reconstruction of the work created by Sebastien Dauce that includes music by Jean de Cambefort, Antoine Boesset, Louis Constantin, Michel Lambert, Francesco Cavalli and Luigi Rossi.
In their first release on harmonia mundi France, Sébastien Daucé and his musicians present a sumptuous interpretation of the six-voice motets composed by Marc-Antoine Charpentier for the House of Guise. These works, headed by the Miserere, constitute an unexpected parenthesis in the music of the Grand Siècle. The creative genius, the inwardness and the intense fervour of a composer surrounded by his faithful company of singers and instrumentalists speak to us all the more intimately because Charpentier appears here as both copyist (the surviving scores are in his handwriting) and performer – he sang the haute-contre part.
This remarkable album was released on the 97th birthday of a composer who, over more than seven decades, had a profound influence on classical music. Born in 1916 and best known for his Violin Concerto, Henri Dutilleux continued the line of great masters of French music. The album is a tribute to the composer by his former composition pupil, conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen, Music Director Laureate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.