Thursday 11 January 2018

Jean-Baptiste Lully

On British TV, Christmas and the New Year is ballet season, so I expect the Nutcracker received it's annual screening. (I could let out a long sigh at the lack of imagination being shown, but what would be the point?)


Many years before Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky came on the scene the man for ballet was Giovanni Battista Lulli, an Italian composer (and dancer) better known as Jean-Baptiste Lully. He was introduced to the court of Louis XIV by Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier, and wrote many ballets, operas and quite a few religious works for Louis XIV in the French Baroque style (which he just about invented, and wasn't Italian at all).

Some music, because we can and because I like it.

Everybody knows (or should know) one thing about Lully: he died of gangrene: having stabbed himself through the foot with his conducting staff he refused to have the foot amputated in case he couldn't dance again.

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