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Ten books about Rameau

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"Nature endows us with the feeling that moves us in all our musical experiences; we might call her gift instinct." – Jean-Philippe Rameau
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Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) is widely regarded as one of the most influential French Baroque composers and music theorists. He is best known for his operas, harpsichord music, chamber music, and his revolutionary writings on music theory, Traité de l'harmonie (1722) and Nouveau système de musique théorique (1726). 

This list collects ten different perspectives on Rameau's life, music and contributions to music theory. Charles Dill, Cynthia Verba, and Thomas Christensen contextualize Rameau within the Age of Enlightenment. William Gibbons explores the late nineteenth century fascination in France with the music of the past and the revival of eighteenth century opera. 

    Marc Minkowski with the Orchestra and Chorus of Les Musiciens du Louvre 

      Monstrous Opera

      One of the foremost composers of the French Baroque operatic tradition, Rameau is often cited for his struggle to steer lyric tragedy away from its strict Lullian form, inspired by spoken tragedy, and toward a more expressive musical style. In this fresh exploration of Rameau's compositional aesthetic, Charles Dill depicts a much more complicated figure: one obsessed with tradition, music theory, his own creative instincts, and the public's expectations of his music. Dill examines the ways Rameau mediated among these often competing values and how he interacted with his critics and with the public. The result is a sophisticated rethinking of Rameau as a musical innovator. In his compositions, Rameau tried to highlight music's potential for dramatic meanings. But his listeners, who understood lyric tragedy to be a poetic rather than musical genre, were generally frustrated by these attempts. In fact, some described Rameau's music as monstrous--using an image of deformity to represent the failure of reason and communication. Dill shows how Rameau answered his critics with rational, theoretical arguments about the role of music in lyric tragedy. At the same time, however, the composer sought to placate his audiences by substantially revising his musical texts in later performances, sometimes abandoning his most creative ideas. Monstrous Opera illuminates the complexity of Rameau's vision, revealing not only the tensions within the music but also the conflicting desires that drove the man--himself caricatured by his contemporaries as a monster. Originally published in 1998. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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      Rameau and Musical Thought in the Enlightenment

      This is the first intellectual biography of the French composer and theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau. Rameau synthesised the vocabulary and grammar of musical practice into a concise scientific system, earning himself the popular title of 'Newton of the Arts'. Ranging widely over the musical and intellectual thought of the eighteenth century, Thomas Christensen is able to orient Rameau's accomplishments in the light of speculative and practical considerations of music theory as well as many of the scientific ideas current in the French Enlightenment. He shows how Rameau incorporates ideas ranging from neoplatonic thought and Cartesian mechanistic metaphysics to Locke's empirical psychology and Newtonian experimental science. Additional primary documents help clarify Rameau's fascinating and stormy relationship with the Encyclopedists, Diderot, Rousseau and d'Alembert.

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      Dramatic Expression in Rameau's Tragedie en Musique

      Cynthia Verba's book explores the story of music's role in the French Enlightenment, focusing on dramatic expression in the musical tragedies of the composer-theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau. She reveals how his music achieves its highly moving effects through an interplay between rational design, especially tonal design, and the portrayal of feeling and how this results in a more nuanced portrayal of the heroine. Offering a new approach to understanding Rameau's role in the Enlightenment, Verba illuminates important aspects of the theory-practice relationship and shows how his music embraced Enlightenment values. At the heart of the study are three scene types that occur in all of Rameau's tragedies: confession of forbidden love, intense conflict and conflict resolution. In tracing changes in Rameau's treatment of these, Verba finds that while he maintained an allegiance to the traditional French operatic model, he constantly adapted it to accommodate his more enlightened views on musical expression.

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      Building the Operatic Museum

      Focusing on the operas of Mozart, Gluck, and Rameau, Building the Operatic Museum examines the role that eighteenth-century works played in the opera houses of Paris around the turn of the twentieth century. These works, mostly neglected during the nineteenth century, became the main exhibits in what William Gibbons calls the Operatic Museum -- a physical and conceptual space in which great masterworks from the past and present could, like works of visual art in the Louvre, entertain audiences while educating them in their own history and national identity. Drawing on the fields of musicology, museum studies, art history, and literature, Gibbons explores how this "museum" transformed Parisian musical theater into a place of cultural memory, dedicated to the display of French musical greatness. William Gibbons is Associate Professor of Musicology at Texas Christian University.

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      The Rameau Compendium

      This book is the most authoritative and up-to-date source of quick reference on the Baroque composer and theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), covering every significant area of his life and creative activity. In particular, the dictionary and work-list provide the reader with easy access to a wealth of cross-referenced material. The dictionary highlights recent discoveries and developments, and corrects a number of errors and misunderstandings. It includes entries on institutions, places, individuals, genres, instruments, technical terms, iconography, editions, specific works and publications, and caters for the fact that some users will be at least as interested in Rameau's theoretical writings as in his life and music. Performers too are well served by the range of entries, many of which illuminate aspects of Rameau's notation and performance practice that can prove puzzling to the non-specialist. The biographical chapter not only provides relevant factual information but also draws attention to significant patterns in Rameau's life and work. This book counters the widespread perception of the composer as a dry, irascible, unsociable individual, revealing him in a far more sympathetic light by giving due weight to hitherto little-known information. GRAHAM SADLER is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hull, Research Professor at Birmingham Conservatoire and Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. He is known internationally as an authority on French music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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      Jean-philippe rameau

      Figure majeure de la musique française, Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) laisse une oeuvre considérable (clavier, musique de chambre, musique vocale religieuse et surtout opéras). Il fut également un théoricien de la forme musicale et un philosophe, participant aux débats esthétiques de l'époque des Lumières. Le 250e anniversaire de sa mort est l'occasion, après les célébrations de 1983 de faire le point sur les travaux engagés depuis trente ans. De nombreuses recherches, l'édition scientifique monumentale de son oeuvre ont enrichi la connaissance de l'homme, du compositeur et du théoricien. Sylvie Bouissou, rédactrice en chef de cette édition, propose ici une synthèse remarquablement documentée qui constitue la monographie de référence.

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      Jean-philippe rameau

      Ecrire un ouvrage sur Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), pour un claveciniste et chef d'orchestre comme Christophe Rousset, c'est se voir offrir l'occasion d'abord de rendre hommage à un immense compositeur, mais encore de faire partager le regard du praticien familier de son oeuvre. Aussi l'intention de l'auteur n'est-elle pas d'en livrer ici une monographie exhaustive, ni d'ériger une statue à sa gloire, mais plutôt de proposer, grâce à une approche plus intime de cet artiste aux multiples facettes, une sorte de portrait en radioscopie. Complexe, en effet, fut et reste Rameau : quel compositeur suscita davantage la polémique, fut autant joué et parodié de son vivant, écrivit autant d'articles et d'ouvrages théoriques, acquit enfin semblable réputation de théoricien et d'homme de science, au point de rendre le musicien en lui plus difficile d'accès ? Cet ouvrage ne le rendra certainement pas plus fameux, ni plus facile. Mais il se propose de guider les lecteurs dans son univers si particulier et peut-être de le leur rendre plus proche, plus attachant. Comme tous les volumes de la collection "Classica", ce livre est enrichi de repères chronologiques, d'une discographie et d'un index.

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      Rameau, jean-philippe

      D'abord organiste et théoricien de la musique, le dijonnais Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) connaît enfin un succès national à l'aube de ses cinquante ans. Outre ses recueils de pièces de clavecin et de concerts, c'est avec l'opéra - et plus particulièrement la tragédie-ballet, initiée par Louis XIV et Lully - que Rameau se distingue : c'est l'avènement d'Hippolyte et Aricie, Les Indes galantes, Castor et Pollux, Dardanus ou encore la pittoresque Platée. Pris à parti au coeur même de la Querelle des Bouffons soutenue par Jean- Jacques Rousseau en 1753 et qui divise le public parisien, Rameau reste le défenseur victorieux d'un goût français particulier qui fit évoluer la Danse aussi bien que l'Opéra avant de disparaître avec cet ancien régime qu'il représentait si bien, s'endormant pendant plus d'un siècle dans un long silence engourdi. Ce nouveau volume de la collection horizons, publié à l'occasion du 250ème anniversaire de la disparition de Rameau, vous propose de redécouvrir la vie et l'oeuvre d'un grand nom de la musique française ainsi que ce genre unique qu'est la tragédie-ballet, fruit typiquement français des fêtes et plaisirs versaillais sous Louis XIV et Louis XV, à travers une synthèse illustrée et complétée de nombreuses annexes.

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      Joanna has twice won certificates of honour (and a free beer) for demonstrating “extraordinary courage against the unsurmountable Phaal”, a ludicrously spicy curry.

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