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Les arrangements pour claviers des oeuvres théâtrales de Jean-Baptiste Lully dans leur contexte historique, esthétique et social (1661-1715)

Abstract : One does not immediately associate the eminent figure of Jean-Baptiste Lully with the domain of 17th century harpsichord and organ. Chronicles, gazettes, accounts, Loret’s versified letters or Mme de Sévigné’s correspondence attest to an entire society’s infatuation with Lully’s operatic works. To our best knowledge, Lully never wrote any specific keyboard piece : yet the 17th century french harpsichord repertoire lists 217 of his works arranged for the keyboard. This fact gives him top ranking ahead of his harpsichordist contemporaries, such as Jacques Champion de Chambonnières, Louis Couperin, Nicolas Lebègue or Jean-Henry d’Anglebert. This original repertoire of theatrical works is to be found in 40 sources and comprises overtures, chaconnes, passacaglias and dances which were then fashionable, with particular emphasis on the minuet. Only Jean-Henry d’Anglebert gives a representative personal selection in his Pièces de Clavecin, published in 1689. This repertoire was copied by anonymous authors and mostly remained handwritten. It was internationally distributed in French, English, German, Austrian, Belgian (Southern Netherlands), Danish, Italian and Spanish literature. Although it was aimed at a public of music-lovers, such as royal blood princesses, young ladies from high-ranking aristocracy and bourgeoisie, many arrangements were also meant for experimented musicians and even professionals. Like the piano four-hand versions of symphonies by Beethoven and Brahms in the 19th century, these keyboard adaptations of Lully’s theatrical works were designed to provide a large public with access to the music they love. Bruce Gustafson, David Fuller and David Chung have dedicated their research to the harpsichord on the basis of the literature which they have studied. An alternative approach, supplemented by the discovery of new sources, helps realize that sometimes there is only a fine line between the repertoire for organ and that for harpsichord : our research examines these two aspects of musicians’ practices in the second half of the 17th century, in the light of Lully’s theatrical works.
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Laurent Beyhurst. Les arrangements pour claviers des oeuvres théâtrales de Jean-Baptiste Lully dans leur contexte historique, esthétique et social (1661-1715). Musique, musicologie et arts de la scène. Université de Lorraine, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014LORR0367⟩. ⟨tel-01752003⟩

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