The music of the important French Baroque composer was rediscovered only in the last decades of the 20th century.
Next Music according to the calendar brings to mind the French music composer of Italian origin Jean-Baptiste Lully. He was born on November 28, 1632; exactly 390 years ago.
Jean-Baptiste Lully belongs to the most important French composers of the Baroque period and is the de facto creator of the French national opera and the French type of opera overture. He intervened in the development of opera by creating a new style of recitative and declamation in French opera, and thanks to this he actually equalized the difference between aria and recitative, i.e. the singing then sounded more continuous.
Lully was the most influential and successful composer of his time, and his prominent position in society is evidenced by the fact that he was among the few close friends of King Louis XIV.
For three centuries, Lully was known more for the unusual circumstances of his death. While conducting one of the rehearsals in 1687, Lully hit the big toe of his right foot with the spike of a heavy baroque baton, which became inflamed due to insufficient hygiene. However, he refused the amputation that was necessary to stop the gangrene, and so the inflammation spread. A late leg amputation did not help and Lully died two months later. Only the new interest in baroque music in the last decades of the 20th century led to a deeper knowledge of Lully’s works.
Jean Baptiste Lully was born Giovanni Battista Lulli in Florence, Tuscany. He showed great musical talent from childhood, and thanks to this he did not have to work in his father’s mill, but received a musical education from the Franciscans, who learned to play the guitar, violin and harpsichord. In 1646, the gifted thirteen-year-old boy was noticed by Roger of Lorraine, Chevalier de Guise, who visited Florence during the local festivities on his way from Malta to France, and offered him to become a page and Italian tutor to his niece Anne Marie.
In the Tuileries Palace, where the court was based, young Giovanni quickly learned French customs and came into contact with leading artists from the royal court circuit. He soon became not only one of the most popular court dancers, in March 1653 he was appointed royal composer of instrumental music.
Court ballet was very popular at the French court at the time; ballets were danced by the king himself and the courtiers. Lully also introduced himself to court performances, both as a dancer and as a musician, and soon to compose music for court ballets himself. In 1661 he was appointed superintendent of royal music and obtained French naturalization papers, therefore he Frenchized his name to Jean-Baptiste Lully.
He will reveal more and offer music samples Martina Klausová in the program, which will premiere in Friday, December 2 at 7 p.m. You can listen to the replays on Sunday, December 4. at 9:00 a.m. and Wednesday 7.12. at 10:00 p.m.