William Christie - Pieces de Clavecin (Pancrace Royer)  (Harmonia Mundi 1901037)
Item# P0137
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William Christie - Pieces de Clavecin (Pancrace Royer)  (Harmonia Mundi 1901037)
P0137. WILLIAM CHRISTIE: Pièces de Clavecin (Pancrace Royer). (Germany) Harmonia Mundi 1901037, recorded 1979. [A stunning, most intriguing, effervescent jewel of a performance!] Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 3149025049513


“Long a leading figure in the early music performance movement, William Christie has been especially influential in restoring opera and French music to their rightful places in the Baroque repertory. He is the harpsichordist and leader of the ensemble Les Arts Florissants. Christie was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1944, and studied piano and organ as a young man. He attended Harvard, graduating with an art history degree and switching to music only for graduate study at the Yale School of Music. His teacher there was the pioneering harpsichordist Ralph Kirkpatrick, best known for his rediscovery and thorough exploration of the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Christie moved to France in 1971; eventually he not only became a French citizen, but also was named a member of the Legion of Honor. Many early music performers have done stints in the contemporary-music world (and vice versa); between 1971 and 1975, as a member of the Five Centuries Ensemble, Christie participated in premieres of work by such notables as Luciano Berio and Morton Feldman. Between 1976 and 1980 he played keyboards for the early music group Concerto Vocale, led by René Jacobs. In 1979, Christie founded Les Arts Florissants, an ensemble devoted to French, English, and Italian music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The group has done much to revive the difficult genre of French Baroque opera, with its arcane declamatory style; working with leading stage designers and choreographers, Christie has had special success with the operas of Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Jean-Philippe Rameau, rightful mainstays of the operatic repertory in their own times but almost forgotten since then. Since 1994, Christie and Les Arts Florissants have recorded for the major French label Erato, and the contract was renewed in 1999. That year saw the release of the Les Arts Florissants recording of Monteverdi's magnificent VESPRO DELLA BEATA VERGINE (the Vespers of 1610), and recordings of Mozart, Caldara, Lully and other composers were in the works.”

“Turning to music out of a necessity to make a living, Royer quickly became associated with the French court serving both as a teacher to the royal children and as a member of the king's chamber. During his career he also served as the director of the Concert Spirituel and a composer and leader of the orchestra of the Opéra. At the Concert Spirituel, though the popular works were the grand motets of Mondonville, Royer introduced the symphonies of Graun, Rousseau, Stamitz, Jommelli and Hasse. During his time at the Spirituel, Royer had his operas produced elsewhere, including ALMASIS, 1748, and PROMETHÉE ET PANDORE, 1752. The Italian influence is clearly discernible, as he was born and raised in Italy. Punctuated rhythms, secure accompaniment and harmonies, as well as skillful use of modulation, cadential delays and well-wrought melodies characterized his compositions.”

- Keith Johnson, allmusic.com