Palladians / The Palladian Ensemble "Les Elemens: Marais and Rebel" SACD
A powerful performance of French baroque by Rebel and Marais from the popular Palladians.
'The music making is gratifyingly direct – gripping, animated, and sometimes positively visceral' (International Record Review).
The thunderous dissonance which opens 'Les Elemens' is probably the most shocking and original single bar of music composed up to that time. How much more extraordinary to reflect that it was written by a 71 year old pensioner whose music had been previously praised for its 'Wisdom, Taste and Tenderness' and its avoidance of the 'Frightening and Monstrous'!
Jean-Féry Rebel enjoyed a long and productive career as one of Louis XIV favoured musicians. He was presented at court at the age of 8 by his father, a royal musician, where he reportedly astonished the King with his virtuosity on the violin. He was encouraged by Lully and rose through the ranks to eventually direct the 24 Violons du Roy. When he stepped down from conducting the Concert Spirituel in 1735 he had a long series of successful instrumental works and ballet scores to look back on (although his one Opera; Ulysse, was a failure) However, he was soon tempted out of retirement by Prince Carignan to write the score that has become his most famous: 'Les Elemens'. The work was premiered in 1737 without the opening movement Le Cahos. The "Mercure de France" reported,
'On the 27th of September the Royal Academy of Music played, after the Opera 'Cadmus' a new symphonic work, by Mr. Rebel Senior (Rebel's son was also a prominent musician) entitled 'The Elements', danced by Mlles. Salle and Mariette and by Ms. Dumoulin, Dupre, Malter and Javilliers. This Divertissement, which was perfectly executed, and much applauded, is adorned with a set which characterized the Elements and made a very grand effect.'
- Les Elemens - I. Le Cahos
- Les Elemens - II. Air pour les violons (La Terre et L'Eau) – Chaconne (Le Feu)
- Les Elemens - III. Ramage (L'Air)
- Les Elemens - IV. Rossignolo
- Les Elemens - V. Loure
- Les Elemens - VI. Tambourins
- Les Elemens - VII. Sicillienne
- Les Elemens - VIII. Caprice
- Suite in A minor - I. Prelude
- Suite in A minor - II. Fantasie
- Suite in A minor - III. Tombeau de Mr Meliton
- Suite in A minor - IV. Rondeau moitie pince et moitie coup
- Suite in A minor - V. Chaconne
- Suite in G major - I. Sarabande grave
- Suite in G major - II. Le petit badinage
- Suite in G major - III. Rondeau le Troilleur
- Folies d'Espagne