Born in Florence in Tuscany, Giovanni Battista Lulli (1632-1687) arrived in Paris at the age of thirteen. He entered the service of King Louis XIV at twenty and, in 1653, he danced alongside the fifteen-year-old king in the Ballet Royal de la Nuit, a performance given before the Court by Cardinal de Mazarin, winner of the Fronde. Eight years later, naturalized and having francized his name, Jean-Baptiste Lully becomes Superintendent of Music in the King's Chamber.
For a decade, Lully collaborated with Molière in numerous comedies-ballets (Georges Dandin, the Magnificent Lovers, Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, Le Bourgeois gentilhomme, ...) until their quarrel in 1671.
After the purchase in 1672 of the privilege attached to the Royal Academy of Music which he directs, until his death in 1687, the composer reigns supreme over the music of the Sun King.
With his lyrical tragedy, Lully is considered to be the creator of French opera based on recitative and ballet. Lully is also behind the opening "à la française", the form of which extends to all of Europe. He also composes around twenty motets including Les Grands Motets with double choir for the Royal Chapel.
While conducting a rehearsal of his Te Deum to celebrate the healing of Louis XIV, the musician injured his foot with the cane which he used to beat time. Gangrene prevails a few months later. The cane will be changed in favor, from now on, of the less dangerous wand ...
• © Didier Chagnas
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