Jean‐Baptiste Lully

Born 28 November 1632. Died 22 March 1687
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
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1632-11-28
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Jean‐Baptiste Lully

Jean‐Baptiste Lully Biography (BBC)

If Louis XIV’s long reign over France was the very model of absolutism and centralised power, the rule of Jean-Baptiste Lully over the country’s musical life, though rather shorter, was in its way no less total. For a time his dominance as an opera composer and manager was unchallengeable, and combined with his achievement as the creator of all-sung French opera to ensure that he came to be viewed as the very embodiment of music in France.

In fact he was born in Florence, in 1632, the son of a miller. His early musical training was basic, but developed when as a teenager he was sent to Paris to be a garcon de chambre to the king’s cousin Mlle de Montpensier, and in 1653 he joined the service of the young Louis XIV as a provider of court dance entertainments in which his skills as a dancer and comedian stood him in good stead just as much as his evident ability as a composer.

His revitalisation of the king’s violin band to become a new model for orchestral standards added further lustre to his reputation, and in the early 1660s his position at the heart of the royal musical establishment as a composer of music both secular and sacred was cemented by his appointment as surintendant.

In 1664 he began a fruitful collaboration with Moliere, and together they devised a new form, the comedie-ballet, producing 10 (L’Amour medecin and Le Bourgeois gentilhomme among them) before parting company in the early 1670s.

By that time, however, Lully was on the verge of the final and most important achievement of his career. In 1672 he obtained a royal monopoly for the composition and performance of opera in French, and thus empowered he kept a ruthless check on his rivals, creating for himself a clear field at a formative period in French opera. His first tragedie en musique, Cadmus et Hermione, appeared in 1673, and a dozen more followed over the next 14 years, most composed in partnership with the librettist Philippe Quinault. So successful were they in aligning music-drama with the already-strong French classical theatre tradition that in a short time operas such as Alceste, Armide, Th‚s‚e and Amadis achieved canonic status.

The manner of his death was bizarre; in January 1687 he was directing a performance of his Te Deum by beating time on the ground with a cane, when he accidentally struck his toe. Refusing treatment for the injury, he contracted gangrene and died two months later.

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Jean‐Baptiste Lully Tracks

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Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Phaëton (Chaconne in G major)
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Phaëton (Chaconne in G major)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Chaconne des Maures (Alcidiane et Polyxandre)
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Chaconne des Maures (Alcidiane et Polyxandre)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Marche pour la cérémonie des Turcs
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Marche pour la cérémonie des Turcs
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Regina coeli
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Regina coeli
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Two excerpts from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
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Two excerpts from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Canaries (Ballet des muses)
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Canaries (Ballet des muses)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Two excerpts from Cadmus et Hermione
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Two excerpts from Cadmus et Hermione
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Marche des Grecs (Ballet des Muses)
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Marche des Grecs (Ballet des Muses)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Entrée des Italiens (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme)
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Entrée des Italiens (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Marche en rondeau 'Les Combattants' (Alceste)
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Marche en rondeau 'Les Combattants' (Alceste)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Bois Epais
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Bois Epais

Bois Epais

Performer
Leo Taubmann
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
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Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Amadis (Chaconne)
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Amadis (Chaconne)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Amadis (Chaconne)
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Amadis (Chaconne)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Alceste 1674 - Loure pour les pecheurs
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Alceste 1674 - Loure pour les pecheurs
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Le Bourgeois gentilhomme - suite
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Le Bourgeois gentilhomme - suite
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Chaconne des Scaramouches (Le bourgeois gentilhomme)
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Chaconne des Scaramouches (Le bourgeois gentilhomme)
Georg Muffat
Suite for Orchestra
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Suite for Orchestra
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Air pour les démons (Alceste)
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Air pour les démons (Alceste)

Air pour les démons (Alceste)

Orchestra
Concert Des Nations
Last played on
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
la Bourrée
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la Bourrée
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Alceste, LWV 50, Act II (complete)
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Alceste, LWV 50, Act II (complete)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Le Ballet des Plaisirs (extract)
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Le Ballet des Plaisirs (extract)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
La Princesse d'Elide (extract)
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La Princesse d'Elide (extract)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Te Deum, LWV 55 (I. Symphonie)
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Te Deum, LWV 55 (I. Symphonie)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
L'hiver qui nous tourmente (Isis)
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L'hiver qui nous tourmente (Isis)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Le bourgeois gentilhomme (Excerpt)
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Le bourgeois gentilhomme (Excerpt)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Un Opéra pour trois rois
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Un Opéra pour trois rois
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Phaeton: Act 2; Chaconne
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Phaeton: Act 2; Chaconne
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Phaëton, LWV.61 (Overture)
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Phaëton, LWV.61 (Overture)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme - Suite
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Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme - Suite
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Armide - tragedie lyrique in a prologue and 5 acts LWV.71 - Overture
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Armide - tragedie lyrique in a prologue and 5 acts LWV.71 - Overture
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Phaëton (Act 1: Chaconne)
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Phaëton (Act 1: Chaconne)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Phaeton: court of the Sun
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Phaeton: court of the Sun
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
La fête infernale; Les démons (Alceste Suite)
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La fête infernale; Les démons (Alceste Suite)
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Plainte d'Armide from Les Amours deguises
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Plainte d'Armide from Les Amours deguises
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Trop indiscret amour from the ballet Les Muses
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Trop indiscret amour from the ballet Les Muses
Jean‐Baptiste Lully
Trios de la Chambre du Roi (Excerpts)
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Trios de la Chambre du Roi (Excerpts)
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