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Music for the End of History

Works by Rameau and Royer


The end of the 18th century seemed like the end of history to the people of France. The old regime had held sway for so long it was impossible to imagine an alternative, even though the chaos at home and endless foreign warmaking under king Louis XV was dramatically fraying the political fabric. But there were new ideas in the air, ideas coming from America, where the French were allied with the Wabanaki Confederacy in a bloody conflict we now call the French and Indian War. Through the writings of soldiers in the American campaign like Baron de Lahontan, the French populous was learning about the Native Americans’ way of life; one which prized liberty, equality, and brotherhood. These same ideas would soon be the animating principals of revolution.


This recital program features works from 18th century keyboardists Jean-Philippe Rameau and Pancrace Royer; fabulous talents of the late-Baroque period. Their music, and their reputations, were eclipsed by the destruction of the old regime and the advent of “Classical Music”. Their music reflects the chaotic potential of this transformational era viewed through the lens of the decadent apotheosis of a lost epoch.



from Les Indes Galantes, Ballet, reduit a quatre grand concerts ~ Jean-Philippe Rameau


Musette en rondeau

1èr et 2ème Menuet

Marche des Persans

Air pour les Esclaves Affricanes

1èr et 2ème Rigaudon en Rondeau

1èr et 2ème Tambourin

Air Grave pour les Incas du Pérou

1èr et 2ème Gavotte

Danse du Grand Calumet de la Paix


from Pièces de Clavecin (1746) ~ Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer

La Majesteuse

La Zaïde

Les Matelots

Suite des Madelots


La Bagatelle

Suite de la Bagatelle

La Rémouleuse

Les Tendres Sentíments

Le Vertigo

La Sensible

La Marche des Scythes (the March of the Scythians)

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