Nowadays, little introduction on record is needed for the dramatic output of Jean-Baptiste Lully: his style has become unquestionably associated with French music of the 17th century. But long before he became the all-conquering composer of tragédies en musique at the court of Louis XIV, Giovanni Battista Lulli, during his early years in Paris and encouraged by the also Italian-born Cardinal Mazarin, helped to spread the music from his native country into the French court. Lully’s own initial compositions - forging his unmistakable style - focused on music for ballets de cour and for these his instrumental entrées were combined with vocal sections in Italian such as arias and Le Florentin’s early treatment of recitative. Not just transalpine composers were welcomed in Paris but singers too. Breaking off briefly from their ongoing grand survey for Glossa of another young itinerant Baroque composer - the Handel of the chamber cantatas with Italian texts - Fabio Bonizzoni and La Risonanza draw us into the Italianate world of Paris of the 1650s and 1660s before leaving us at the gates of Lully’s collaboration with Molière in Le bourgeois gentilhomme and his own entrance into the tragédie en musique.
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