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Le Balet Comique de la Royne

Duration:
1 hour
First broadcast:
Saturday 13 June 2009

Lucie Skeaping explores the origins of classical ballet, which can be found in the lavish 'balet comique de la royne', an ambitious and influential stage entertainment that was given in Paris, on 15 October 1581 in the court of Catherine de Medici, to celebrate the marriage of the Duc de Joyeuse and Mlle de Vaudemont.

It was conceived and directed by Catherine's director of court festivals, Balthasar de Beaujoyeux, who sought to bring together all the art forms - including for the first time, dramatic dance - for a huge allegorical spectacle in the spirit of the ancient Greeks. The verse was by the Sieur de la Chesnaye, the scenery by Patin, and the music by the bass singer Lambert de Beaulieu, Jacques Salmon, and others. Catherine was so pleased with the event that she had all its details meticulously recorded, published and circulated, which is how we have come to know so much about it.

In recent years the Swiss-based group Ensemble Elyma and their director Gabriel Garrido have researched and recorded the music of the entertainment, and it is this recording that is featured in the programme. Lucie looks back on the history of the piece, how it was performed, what it looked like and what it meant.

Music Played

9 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Lambert de Beaulieu

    Lambert de Beaulieu Entrée from "Le balet Comique de la Royne"

    Performers: Ensemble Elyma directed by Gabriel Garrido

    K617, K617 080

  • Image for Lambert de Beaulieu

    Lambert de Beaulieu Chanson des Sereines from "Le balet Comique de la Royne"

    Performers: Ensemble Elyma directed by Gabriel Garrido

    K617, K617 080

  • Image for Lambert de Beaulieu

    Lambert de Beaulieu Le son du premier ballet from "Le balet Comique de la Royne"

    Performers: Ensemble Elyma directed by Gabriel Garrido

    K617, K617 080

  • Image for Lambert de Beaulieu

    Lambert de Beaulieu Chanson de Mercure from "Le balet Comique de la Royne"

    Performers: Ensemble Elyma directed by Gabriel Garrido

    K617, K617 080

  • Image for Lambert de Beaulieu

    Lambert de Beaulieu Chanson des Vertus from "Le balet Comique de la Royne"

    Performers: Ensemble Elyma directed by Gabriel Garrido

    K617, K617 080

  • Image for Lambert de Beaulieu

    Lambert de Beaulieu Choeur de la descente and Chant de Jupiter from "Le balet Comique de la Royne"

    Performers: Ensemble Elyma directed by Gabriel Garrido

    K617, K617 080

  • Image for Claude Le Jeune

    Claude Le Jeune Battaille from "La Guerre"

    Performers: Ensemble Elyma directed by Gabriel Garrido

    K617, K617 080

  • Image for Lambert de Beaulieu

    Lambert de Beaulieu La petite entrée du grand balet from "Le balet Comique de la Royne"

    Performers: Ensemble Elyma directed by Gabriel Garrido

    K617, K617 080

  • Image for Pierre Francisque Caroubel

    Pierre Francisque Caroubel Terpsichore

    Performers: Ensemble Elyma directed by Gabriel Garrido

    K617, K617 080

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