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Le Berger fidèle

Jean-Philippe Rameau (b. 1683 - d. 1764)

Anna Reinhold

Anna Reinhold

Composer
Jean-Philippe Rameau (b. 1683 - d. 1764)
Composition Year
1728
Work Movements
Recitative
Plaintive Air
Recitative
Gay Air
Recitative
Brisk and graceful air
Artists
Concerto Copenhagen (Antoine Toruncyzk [oboe], Fredrik From, Peter Spissky, Antina Hugosson [violins], Torbjörn Köhl [viola], Judith-Maria Blomsterberg [cello], Kate Hearne [cello, recorder], Marrias Frostenson [bass], Fredrik Bock [theorbo], Marcus Mohlin [harpsichord]) [baroque ensemble], Carolyn Sampson [soprano]

Programme Note Writer:
© Norah O' Leary

In the early eighteenth-century a new genre of French music emerged – that of the chamber cantata. Jean-Baptiste Rousseau was the first French poet to write librettos for cantatas and the earliest French cantatas to be published were those of J.B. Morin in 1706.  The chamber cantata is the music of the royals and aristocrats, heard not in halls of opera and ballet but in smaller, more intimate surroundings usually with one or two singers and a small instrumental band. The language was largely operatic and, in the case of Rameau, often a place where he works out some of his later operatic ideas. The charm lies particularly in the recitatives, which allow the airs to grow out of their musical construction and action. Le Berger fidèle (The Faithful Shepherd) is a cantata based on a text from Italian poet Giovanni Battista Guarini. Handel also wrote music for the same poem. Unusually the cantata’s date of composition can be authenticated by a newspaper report of its performance on 22 November 1728 as a cantate nouvelle. Le Berger fidèle, despite being quintessentially French in style, had limited success during the composer’s lifetime. The cantata depicts the grief of the shepherd Myrtilus for his beloved Amaryllis who was to be sacrificed upon the angry instruction of Diana. Myrtilus’ pleading placates the goddess and he looks forward to a joyful reunion. The story is told in six short airs and recitatives.

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Le Berger fidèle

Composer: Jean-Philippe Rameau (b. 1683 - d. 1764)
Performance date: Wednesday 6th July 2016
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Jean-Philippe Rameau (b. 1683 - d. 1764)
Work Title Le Berger fidèle
Composition Year 1728
Work Movements Recitative
Plaintive Air
Recitative
Gay Air
Recitative
Brisk and graceful air
Artist(s) Concerto Copenhagen (Antoine Toruncyzk [oboe], Fredrik From, Peter Spissky, Antina Hugosson [violins], Torbjörn Köhl [viola], Judith-Maria Blomsterberg [cello], Kate Hearne [cello, recorder], Marrias Frostenson [bass], Fredrik Bock [theorbo], Marcus Mohlin [harpsichord]) [baroque ensemble], Carolyn Sampson [soprano]
Performance Date Wednesday 6th July 2016
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:16:01
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Large Mixed Ensemble
Baroque Ensemble
Instrumentation 3vn, ob, va, vc, rec, db, lu, hpd
Programme Note Writer © Norah O' Leary
In the early eighteenth-century a new genre of French music emerged – that of the chamber cantata. Jean-Baptiste Rousseau was the first French poet to write librettos for cantatas and the earliest French cantatas to be published were those of J.B. Morin in 1706.  The chamber cantata is the music of the royals and aristocrats, heard not in halls of opera and ballet but in smaller, more intimate surroundings usually with one or two singers and a small instrumental band. The language was largely operatic and, in the case of Rameau, often a place where he works out some of his later operatic ideas. The charm lies particularly in the recitatives, which allow the airs to grow out of their musical construction and action. Le Berger fidèle (The Faithful Shepherd) is a cantata based on a text from Italian poet Giovanni Battista Guarini. Handel also wrote music for the same poem. Unusually the cantata’s date of composition can be authenticated by a newspaper report of its performance on 22 November 1728 as a cantate nouvelle. Le Berger fidèle, despite being quintessentially French in style, had limited success during the composer’s lifetime. The cantata depicts the grief of the shepherd Myrtilus for his beloved Amaryllis who was to be sacrificed upon the angry instruction of Diana. Myrtilus’ pleading placates the goddess and he looks forward to a joyful reunion. The story is told in six short airs and recitatives.