Le Concert Royal de la NuitMusic by JEAN DE CAMBEFORT (c.1605-1661), ANTOINE BOESSET (1587-1643), LOUIS CONSTANTIN (1697-1779), MICHEL LAMBERT (1610-1696), FRANCESCO CAVALLI (1602-1676), LUIGI ROSSI (1597-1653) and ANON.
Catalogue Number: 10R011
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Reference: HMC 952223.24
Description: This luxurious release (hardbound book plus the 2 CDs) partially recreates the ballet given on Feb. 23, 1653 in which the 15-year-old Louis XIV danced in the final entrée of the work. This was a major political spectacle, designed to influence the aristocracy and to mark the end of the four-year-long Fronde rebellion of 1648-52. A combination of poetry, costuming, stage machinery and dance, the work consisted of four entrées, each representing a three-hour “night watch”. A wordbook survives, as do over 70 of the dances but, aside from Cambefort, whose name is in the wordbook as composer of the récits and airs which open each entrée, the remaining composers are not known although the music was preserved in a 1690 publication by André Danican Philidor. Conductor Daucé explains how he strung everything together after three years of study in the 15 pages of English notes and synopsis, part of a 194-page book full of color illustrations (period art pertaining to the subject matter and, most valuable, the surviving drawings, touched up by gouache or watercolors, of the costumes, masks, accessories and attitudes of the dancers as well as the painted backcloths and other aspects of the decor. There are 14 vocal soloists and an orchestra of 34. 2 CDs. French-English texts. Ensemble Correspondances; Sébastien Daucé.