Lully: Te Deum
With his Te Deum the King's Music Superintendent signed a remarkable score and set the style of this official genre for a century.
Lully conducted this work composed for the baptism of his son, in the presence of Louis XIV who was the child's godfather, on 9 September 1677 in the Fontainebleau Chapel. The work is a masterpiece of musical architecture requiring considerable musical forces including trumpets and timbales. The Te Deum was the most often performed religious composition of its time: royal weddings, military victories, recovery of the monarch... 1677 is the year where Lully composed his most magnificent creations for the King at the height of his glory, including the tragedy Atys which became the 'King's opera'. Of the dozen of performances of the Te Deum, history remembers the one in the Feuillants church which caused the composer's death in 1686: carried away by his zeal, as he was keeping time with his cane, he pierced his foot with the tip. Gangrene set in and the composer died on 22 March 1687, however his aura remained intact until the end of monarchy.
His De Profundis and his Dies Irae were equally successful. The first composition came as a braggadocio gesture: a competition was organised in 1683 by Louis XIV to appoint the Royal Chapel's music masters, thirty grand motets composed by competitors were performed. After the audition, Lully (who as Superintendent headed all other musicians) gave his De Profundis: “Beyond the beauty of the music, the whole court admired how aptly the subject was expressed; this is how a good music master differs from a mediocre or bad one.” A confirmation if any was needed… This motet was performed the same year for Queen Marie-Therese at the Abbaye de Saint-Denis together with the Dies Irae composed for the circumstance.
These three major scores by Lully will be conducted Leonardo Garcia Alarcon who will share the deeply shimmering vision combined with grandeur and accuracy which is his signature.
Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687)
Dies Irae / De Profundis / Te Deum