Donald Macleod explores the operas of Jean-Phillipe Rameau.
At his death in 1764, Rameau, by then an octogenarian, had more than 30 stage works to his credit. It’s a remarkable achievement when you consider he produced his first opera at the age of 50. Up to that point, although details about his life are surprisingly patchy, he appears to have held a succession of posts in the provinces, as an organist, teacher and theoretician, seemingly without even a whiff of greasepaint. Then, at an age when one might assume his chosen path was settled, Rameau upped sticks, came back to Paris and conquered the stage with breathtaking speed.
Across the week Donald Macleod focusses on those heady, initial years in the French capital, building a picture of what made Rameau into a highly successful, if controversial, theatrical composer.
Hippolyte et Aricie
Concert No. 1 in C minor
Les Indes Galantes (suite)
Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin
Castor et Pollux
Les fêtes d’Hébé, (opera-ballet)
Le Rappel des Oiseaux
Les fêtes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour
Presented by Donald Macleod
Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales
For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Jean-Philippe Rameau: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00893kl
And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3cjHdZlXwL7W41XGB77X3S0/composers-a-to-z