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Philippe II d'Orléans's 'chanteurs italiens', the Italian Cantata and the goûts-réunis under Louis XIV

Don Fader
Early Music
Vol. 35, No. 2 (May, 2007), pp. 237-249
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30138021
Page Count: 13
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Philippe II d'Orléans's 'chanteurs italiens', the Italian Cantata and the goûts-réunis under Louis XIV
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Abstract

Although the increasing influence of the Italian style in France around the turn of the 18th century is a familiar topic, we know comparatively little about how particular Italian repertories came to influence French composers. One important and thus far incompletely explored repertory is that of Philippe II, duc d'Orléans (1674-1723), and his musicians. Around 1701 Orléans began assembling a unique cadre of Italian musicians and Frenchmen trained in the latest Italian techniques. This ensemble consisted of two violinists (Giovanni Antonio Guido and Jean-Baptiste Anet fils), two castratos borrowed from cardinal Ottoboni (Pasqualino Tiepoli and Pasqualino Betti), and a bass player (eventually Jean-Baptiste Stuck). Documentary evidence and the cantatas of Stuck and Guido indicate that the ensemble's repertory included music modelled on that of Giovanni Bononcini, whose works became popular in France during the period of the ensemble's activity (1703-5). The ensemble made possible the performance of vocal music in the latest ultramontane vein, giving impetus to the developing French interest in Italian music, and providing a forum for experimentation with a réunion des goûts by the duke and his musicians, particularly in the arena of the cantate françoise.

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