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Danse (Dance) Royale: Music of the French Baroque Court & Theatre
Chatham Baroque
Danse (Dance) Royale: Music of the French Baroque Court & Theatre
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (40) - Disc #1


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CD Reviews

Dance Royale
David DeAngelo | Pittsburgh, PA | 03/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Danse Royale by Chatham Baroque contains more than three dozen dance and small theatrical pieces from the Court of Louis XIV. If there is one thing you learn while listening to this CD or any other CD by Chatham Baroque, it is this: these guys know what they're doing and they do it very well. Everything (pitch, ensemble and overall musical direction) is absolutely rock solid. This CD is a joy to listen to.The ensemble plays with great intelligence and skill on this CD. Violinists Julie Andrijeski and Emily Davidson each have a strong technique and play together well. Patricia Halverson on gamba and Scott Pauley on Guitar complete this surprisingly full sounding quartet. The texture is big and lush without ever being out of focus as the musicians fill a room without ever seeming to forget that they are playing chamber music. The ensemble addresses the challenges of using 17th century embellishments and rhythmic complexities with great ease. The attention to historical detail is impressive.Roughly half of the pieces on this CD are by Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687), the great Florentine violist (born: Giovanni Batista Lulli) turned French court composer. The rest of the music was composed by lesser-known, mostly anonymous, composers. A real discovery on this CD is a gem by the famous chess theorist Andreí Duncan Philidor.If there is a downside on this CD it is that all of the works are rather short (most are under two minutes) and so the result is a long string of extremely small though beautiful pearls. To be sure, the music is arranged into five dance suites and those suites do have some inner logic to them. The liner notes, however, are unclear as to whether the choice of works and their arrangement is original or Chatham Baroque's.Overall, with a remarkable command of their instruments and with great fidelity to their historical contexts, Chatham Baroque produced a wonderful CD."
Sumptuous, cheerful and elegant!
Brianna Neal | USA | 11/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"More wonderful arrangements by Chatham Baroque, this time focusing on French Baroque Music! The deep, rich sound of two violins over a ground of gamba, theorbo (a big, long-necked lute) and guitar is rich and moving. "The majority of trio music at the French court," according to the CD's insert notes, "was composed in order to fulfill the king's every wish for music within his own household. Louis the XIV adored music and dance, and therefore surrounded himself with it from the moment he awoke until he dropped off to sleep." A sentiment I can well understand, particularly with music such as this. Many of the selections are compositions of Jean-Baptiste Lully, King Louis' Italian friend and eventually chief of music, who provided the court with dances of "crisp, rhythmic vitality" inspired by native French music and culture. Bearing this out are Patricia Halverson's occasional imitation of folksy drones on her gamba, and percussionist Danny Mallon's tasteful drum, tambourine and even castanet accompaniments to several of the more upbeat dances. As in other Chatham Baroque releases, such colorful twists of instrumentation and technique add color and interest, without seeming at all out of place in an album of Baroque chamber music. For more French music from the time of Louis XIV, try also the "The Sun King's Paradise" by the Palladian Ensemble."
Delightful Music
Max | 03/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wonderfully lively music played by excellent musicians. I play it repeatedly while I'm at the computer and just never seem to tire of it, although I have numerous other CD's asking for their turn."