Joseph Bodin de Boismortier

Biography

Born: December 23, 1689; Tionville   Died: October 28, 1755; Roissy-en-Brie  
Few eighteenth-century composers earned a personal fortune solely by writing music; Joseph Bodin de Boismortier did, and could claim to be the first Frenchman to sell his talents on the open market. By 1700, the spread of music printing and publishing in Europe, allied to the growth of amateur music-making, made substantial sales of new music possible, and Boismortier seized every opportunity for meeting the popular demand for tuneful, Read more technically simple pieces for a wide variety of vocal and instrumental combinations.

Within a year of arriving in Paris in 1723, his first publications were on sale, and by 1747 had been followed by 102 works. This readiness to provide what the public wanted brought financial success and popularity, but a certain amount of envious comment from the French cultural establishment as well: composers were not supposed to be businessmen! In his Essay on Music, Early and Modern (1750) Jean-Benjamin de La Borde, a contemporary of Boismortier, commented Boismortier ability to turn composition into a lucrative enterprise. The composer's response to La Borde's remarks was brief and to the point: "I make money".

Following common practice of the time, Boismortier frequently scored for alternative instruments -- for example,. recorder, flute, oboe or violin -- thus increasing his sales potential. He was particularly industrious in writing for the flute, and also published a flute method. So fashionable was the instrument in France that the mere imprint "suitable for flute" virtually guaranteed a publishing success. Rustic instruments, such as the musette (bagpipes) and vielle (hurdy-gurdy), were also in vogue, and Boismortier swiftly obliged by providing them with something easy to play.

His output encompassed secular cantatas, motets, songs and four stage works, including an opera, Daphnis et Chloé. He was also an innovator. As the first French composer to adopt the Italian title concerto, he wrote the first French solo concerto for any instrument (in this case the 'cello), as well as a large number of flute sonatas and a set of unaccompanied concertos for three, four, and five flutes.

Boismortier was extremely prolific, but much of what he wrote, though pleasant enough, could hardly be considered significant. At its best it is tuneful, elegant, and by no means naïve. In his Essay on Music, La Borde wrote: "Although [his works] have long been forgotten anyone who desires to take the trouble to excavate them will find enough grains of gold dust there to make an ingot." Today he might have been less grudging, since many of Boismortier's works are still being published, and continue to appeal to players of both modern and period instruments. Read less

There are 78 Joseph Bodin de Boismortier recordings available.

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Works

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier


MOST POPULAR WORKS
Ouverture
Act I: Chasse au monstre (Hunting the Monster)
Act I: Air de Don Quichotte (Don Quixote's Air)
Act I: Air de Sancho (Sancho's Air)
Act I: Marche
Act I: Menuets I et II
Act I: Air pour les patres (Shepherds' Air)
Act I: Tambourins I et II
Act I: Scene de la paysanne (Peasant Girl's Scene)
Act I: Merlin l'enchanteur (Merlin the Magician)
Act I: Reprise de l'ouverture
Act II: La caverne de Montesinos (The Cave of Montesinos)
Act II: Depit de Sancho (Sancho's Troubles)
Act II: Air pour charmer (Air of Enchantment)
Act II: Air de la colere (Angry Air)
Act II: Lutte avec le geant (Struggle with the Giant)
Act II: Air pour le desenchantement (Air to Break the Spell)
Act II: Air de Montesinos (Air of Montesinos)
Act II: Air pour les amants desenchantes (Air for Disenchanted Lovers)
Act II: Divertissement
Act II: Choeur des demons (Chorus of Demons)
Act II: Transport de Dulcinee (Dulcinea Transported)
Act III: Le gentil Sapajou (The Gentle Sapajou)
Act III: Air epagnol (Spanish Air)
Act III: Entree d'Altisidore (Altisidore's Entrance)
Act III: Retour de Merlin (Merlin's Return)
Act III: L'infante du Congo (The Infanta from the Congo)
Act III: Air d'Altisidore (Altisidore's Air)
Act III: Choeur des Japonais (Chorus of Japanese)
Act III: Marche et air pour le Japon (Japanese March and Air)
Act III: Air de la Japonaise (Japanese Woman's Air)
Act III: Chaconne
I. Adagio
II. Presto
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro
I. Andante
II. Presto
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro
I. Rondement - Gayement
II. Air: Gracieusement
III. Gayement
I. Gayement
II. Gracieusement
III. Gayement
I. Sicilienne
II. Gayement
III. Gracieusement
IV. Gayement
I. Gayement
II. Gracieusement
III. Gayement
I. Legerement
II. Gracieusement
III. Gayement
I. Gayement
II. Gracieusement
III. Menuets I et II
Prelude
Bourree en rondeau
Rondeau
Fantaisie
Gigue
WORKS
Allegro
Largo
Allegro
I. Adagio
II. Allegro
III. Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Largo
III. Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro
Adagio
Allegro
Allegro
I. Allegro
II. Affettuoso
III. Allegro
I. Adagio
II. Allegro
III. Allegro
Ouverture
Act I: Chasse au monstre (Hunting the Monster)
Act I: Air de Don Quichotte (Don Quixote's Air)
Act I: Air de Sancho (Sancho's Air)
Act I: Marche
Act I: Menuets I et II
Act I: Air pour les patres (Shepherds' Air)
Act I: Tambourins I et II
Act I: Scene de la paysanne (Peasant Girl's Scene)
Act I: Merlin l'enchanteur (Merlin the Magician)
Act I: Reprise de l'ouverture
Act II: La caverne de Montesinos (The Cave of Montesinos)
Act II: Depit de Sancho (Sancho's Troubles)
Act II: Air pour charmer (Air of Enchantment)
Act II: Air de la colere (Angry Air)
Act II: Lutte avec le geant (Struggle with the Giant)
Act II: Air pour le desenchantement (Air to Break the Spell)
Act II: Air de Montesinos (Air of Montesinos)
Act II: Air pour les amants desenchantes (Air for Disenchanted Lovers)
Act II: Divertissement
Act II: Choeur des demons (Chorus of Demons)
Act II: Transport de Dulcinee (Dulcinea Transported)
Act III: Le gentil Sapajou (The Gentle Sapajou)
Act III: Air epagnol (Spanish Air)
Act III: Entree d'Altisidore (Altisidore's Entrance)
Act III: Retour de Merlin (Merlin's Return)
Act III: L'infante du Congo (The Infanta from the Congo)
Act III: Air d'Altisidore (Altisidore's Air)
Act III: Choeur des Japonais (Chorus of Japanese)
Act III: Marche et air pour le Japon (Japanese March and Air)
Act III: Air de la Japonaise (Japanese Woman's Air)
Act III: Chaconne
I. Adagio
II. Allegro
III. Largo
IV. Allegro
I. Adagio
II. Presto
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro
I. Andante
II. Presto
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro
I. Adagio
II. Allegro
III. Largo
IV. Allegro
I. Rondement - Gayement
II. Air: Gracieusement
III. Gayement
I. Gayement
II. Gracieusement
III. Gayement
I. Sicilienne
II. Gayement
III. Gracieusement
IV. Gayement
I. Gayement
II. Gracieusement
III. Gayement
I. Legerement
II. Gracieusement
III. Gayement
I. Gayement
II. Gracieusement
III. Menuets I et II
La Serenissime
La Gauloise
La Rustique
La Choquante
L'Imperieuse
La Puce
La Navette
La Flagorneuse
La Belliqueuse
La Veloutee
L'Indeterminee
La Frenetique
La Brunette
I. Prelude
II. Allemande
III. Rondeau "Les Charites"
IV. "L'Emerveillee"
V. Gavotte
VI. Menuet
Prelude
Air
Rondeau
Air
Musette
Prelude
Bourree en rondeau
Rondeau
Fantaisie
Gigue
Prelude
Allemande
Ramages
Menuet
I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Allegro


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