Jean-Philippe Rameau

Biography

Born: Sep 25, 1683; France   Died: Sep 12, 1764; France   Period: Baroque
Jean-Philippe Rameau was one of the truly multifaceted musicians of his day. Acclaimed for his innovative and popular operas, he was also known as one of the greatest organists in France, and his theoretical writings continue to influence musical thinkers over two centuries later.
Although his father was a professional organist, Rameau was expected to pursue a career in the law. However, he was musically very precocious, teaching himself
Read more several instruments and the basics of harmony and composition. After spending more time on music than on his studies at the Jesuit College in Dijon (1693-1697), Rameau was removed from school; only when he was 18 did his parents give in to his wishes for a musical career. He went to Italy for a few months, and spent some time playing violin in a travelling French opera troupe. Then he took organist posts in Clermont-Ferrand (1702-1705), Paris (1705-1708), Dijon (1709-1714), Lyons (1714-1715), and Clermont again (1715-1722).
Rameau had begun composing for the harpsichord, publishing his first book of keyboard works in 1706 (subsequent volumes appeared in 1724, 1728, and 1741). He had also written a few motets and secular cantatas, and had started his first book, the Traité de l'harmonie (published 1722), which later made his reputation as an important theorist.
Hoping for greater fame as a composer, he moved to Paris in late 1722; there he took on some private students and composed numerous keyboard and short stage works. Eventually, he came to the attention of the financier and courtier Le Riche de la Pouplinière, who hired Rameau as conductor of his orchestra (a position he held for some 22 years) and allowed him and his family to live in his mansion. Through La Pouplinière, Rameau also met many of the great writers of his day, including some who later became librettists for his operas.
Rameau produced his first opera, Hippolyte et Aricie (1733), at the age of 50. The work wasn't well received initially, but the opera Castor et Pollux (1737) was much more successful, and Rameau gradually became known as one of France's leading composers. For the rest of his life, he divided his time between composing and writing further theoretical works like Nouveau système de musique théorique (1726), Dissertation sur les differents méthodes d'accompagnement pour le clavecin ou pour l'orgue (1732), and Démonstration du principe de l'harmonie (1750). He felt his theoretical works were at least as important as his music, and defended his theories in extensive correspondences and debates with many of the leading musical thinkers in Europe.
In 1745, he was appointed composer of the King's chamber music. He continued writing operas, both tragic works like Dardanus (1739, rev. 1744) and comedies like Platée (1745) and La Princesse de Navarre (1745). These and his other operas and incidental music (he wrote about 30 stage works in all) were noteworthy for their expanded harmonic palate, their brilliant choruses and ballets, and the prominent role Rameau gave to the orchestra. But not everyone admired his music, and for years a bitter public rivalry existed between the Rameau partisans and the "Lullistes," who preferred the somewhat more conservative works of Jean-Baptiste Lully. Rameau also had to defend his musical style in the "War of the Buffoons" of 1752 against those who preferred the lighter Italian operas of composers like Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. Four months before his death, Rameau was granted a patent of nobility by King Louis XV. He died just before his 81st birthday, and was buried at his parish church at St. Eustache. Read less
Rameau: Pièces De Clavecin En Concerts / Charlston, Et Al
Release Date: 03/25/2003   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1385   Number of Discs: 1
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La Trompette Retrouvée - Fauré, Rameau, Hahn, Et Al
Release Date: 02/01/2007   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 294   Number of Discs: 1
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Rameau, Campra: French Cantatas / Harvey, Hyde, Et Al
Release Date: 04/24/2007   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1495   Number of Discs: 1
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Rameau: Complete Harpsichord Works / Pieter-Jan Belder
Release Date: 02/09/2010   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 93903   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Gavotte Varee

Browse 1-25 of 27 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Rameau: The Keyboard Works / Marcelle Meyer
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 625799 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Marcelle Meyer
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  • 2.
    Legato - The World of Piano / Hamelin, Aimard...
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059848 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Nikolai Medtner,  Dafydd Llywelyn,  Leopold Godowsky  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Berezovsky,  Roland Pöntinen,  Marc-André Hamelin,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard
    DVD: $58.99
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  • 3.
    Mozart: Symphony No. 38; Schumann: Symphony No. 2; Rameau: Gavotte / Klemperer, New Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1482 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $23.98
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  • 4.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 5.
    Bach, Rameau, Handel, Gluck, Haydn / Otto Klemperer [8-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 484332 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Christoph W. Gluck,  George Frideric Handel,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 6.
    Baroque Conversations / David Greilshammer
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 792969 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Morton Feldman,  Antonio Soler,  François Couperin  ... 
    Performer:  David Greilsammer
    CD: $12.99
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  • 7.
    Avie Records - 10th Anniversary
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2265 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Enescu,  Gabriel Fauré,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Monica Huggett,  Gonzalo Ruiz,  Luiza Borac,  Charles Owen  ... 
    Conductor:  Monica Huggett,  Harry Bicket,  Imogen Cooper,  Vasily Petrenko  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Sonnerie,  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Northern Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 8.
    Rameau: Pieces de Clavecin (played on accordion) / Viviane Chassot
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 11216 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Viviane Chassot
    CD: $18.99
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  • 9.
    Label: Skarbo   Catalog: 1096 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Jean-Pierre Ferey
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Sari Biro Legacy: Historic Performances 1944-1972
    Label: Cambria   Catalog: 1174 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Zoltán Kodály  ... 
    Performer:  Sari Biro
    Conductor:  Emanuel Vardi,  Wilhelm Loibner
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  • 11.
    Legato - The World Of The Piano - Pontinen, Roland: Listening To Yourself
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2055768 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Isaac Albeniz,  Kaija Saariaho,  Ferruccio Busoni  ... 
    Performer:  Roland Pöntinen
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 12.
    Rameau: Concerts Mis En Simphonie
    Label: Vendee   Catalog: 605006 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Hugo Reyne
    Conductor:  Hugo Reyne
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  • 13.
    Variations - Haydn, Rachmaninov, Berio, Rameau, Brahms / Vanessa Wagner
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 134 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Luciano Berio,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Vanessa Wagner
    CD: $17.99
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  • 14.
    Rameau, Scarlatti, Mozart, Haydn / Robert Casadesus
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5033882 Release Date: 08/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus,  Bernard H. Garfield,  John De Lancie,  Anthony Gigliotti  ... 
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  • 15.
    Rameau, Haydn, Chopin, Etc / Cherkassky
    Label: Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog: 14 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Paul Hindemith,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Shura Cherkassky
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  • 16.
    A Basket Of Wild Strawberries - Rameau / Barto
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1067 Release Date: 04/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Tzimon Barto
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  • 17.
    Wiener Philharmoniker - Live Performances / Klemperer
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1365 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Wilma Lipp,  Eberhard Wächter,  Ernst Pamperl,  Walter Weller  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
    On sale! $137.98
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  • 18.
    Rameau: Les Cyclopes / Trevor Pinnock
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2056 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Trevor Pinnock
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  • 19.
    Rameau: Harpsichord Works / Eiji Hashimoto
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2579 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Eiji Hashimoto
    CD: $17.99
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  • 20.
    Famous Works For Harpsichord - Couperin, Et Al / Beauséjour
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 23121 Release Date: 01/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Pietro Domenico Paradies,  Johann Caspar Fischer,  Domenico Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Luc Beauséjour
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    The Virtuoso Harpsichord Vol 1 - Rameau / Anton Heiller
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 7008 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Anton Heiller
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  • 22.
    Bach: Four Orchestral Suites;  Handel, Et Al / Klemperer
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 2131 Release Date: 06/08/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Luigi Cherubini,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    Classic Romance II / John Novacek
    Label: Four Winds   Catalog: 3006 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Alexander Scriabin,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  John Novacek
    CD: $12.99
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  • 24.
    'La Sophie' - Popular Harpsichord Music / Sophie Yates
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 598 Release Date: 09/24/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Jacques Duphly,  Domenico Scarlatti,  François Couperin  ... 
    Performer:  Sophie Yates
    CD: $18.99
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  • 25.
    The Golden Age Of Harpsichord Music / Rafael Puyana
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434364 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Philips,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Martin Peerson,  François Couperin  ... 
    Performer:  Rafael Puyana
    ArkivCD $16.99
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Jean-Philippe Rameau


WORKS
I. Ouverture
II. Air pantomime
III. Air de ballet
IV. Orage
V. Air pour des fous gais et des fous tristes
VI. Menuet I - II
VII. Rigaudon I - II
I. Ouverture
II. Marche pour les differentes nations
III. Menuet
IV. Tambourin I - II
V. Rigaudon I - II
VI. Entree d'Iphise
VII. Air gai en rondeau
VIII. Menuet I - II
IX. Tambourin III - IV
X. Sommeil de Dardanus
XI. Chaconne
I. Ouverture
II. Les differents caracteres de la danse (Gracieusement): Air - Gavotte - Menuet - Gavotte - Chaconne - Loure - Passepied - Rigaudon -
(II.) Sarabande pour la Statue - Tambourin: Forte et vite
III. Marche
IV. Pantomime niaise et un peu lent - Deuxieme Pantomime tres vite
V. Air gracieux et gai et contredanse
Overture
Act I: Ritournelle
Act I Scene 1: Recitative: L'hymen courone votre soeur (Cleone, Phoebe)
Act I Scene 2: Air: Eclatez, mes justes regrets! (Telaire)
Act I Scene 3: Recitative: Ah! je mourrai content, je revois ovs appas! (Castor, Telaire)
Act I Scene 4: Recitative: Non demeure, Castor! (Pollux, Castor, Telair)
Act I Scene 5: Chorus: Chantons l'eclatante victoire (Castor, Telaira, Pollux)
Act I Scene 5: Air tres pointe
Act I Scene 5: Menuets
Act I Scene 5: Ariette: Quel bonheur regne dans mon ame! (Castor)
Act I Scene 5: Gavottes
Act I Scene 5: Tambourins
Act I Scene 6: Recitative: Quitttez ces jeux! (Spartan, Choir, Castor, Pollux, Telaire)
Act I: Entracte: Bruit de guerre
Act II Scene 1: Chorus: Que tout gemisse (Spartans)
Act II Scene 2: Air: Tristes apprets (Telaire)
Act II Scene 3: Cruelle, en quels lieux venez-vous? (Telaire, Phoebe, Choir)
Act II Scene 4: March Recitative: Peuples, cessez de soupirer! (Pollux)
Act II Scene 5: Chorus: Que l'enfer applaudisse
Act II Scene 4: Recitative: Princesse une telle victoire (Pollux, Telaire)
Act II Scene 4: Air gai
Act II Scene 4: Air pour les athletes
Act II Scene 4: Aria: Eclatez fieres trompettes! (Athlete)
Act II Scene 4: Air tres gai
Act III Scene 1: Aria: Present des dieux (Pollux)
Act III Scene 2: Recitative: (High Priest, Pollux, Jupiter)
Act III Scene 3: Descente de Jupiter
Act III Scene 3: Recitative: Ma voix, puissant maitre du monde (Pollux, Jupiter)
Act III Scene 3: Recitative: Ah! laisse-moi percer jusques aux sombre bords! (Pollux, Jupiter)
Act III Scene 4: Chorus: Ah! Pouvez-vouz nous meconnaitre? "Chorus of Celestial Pleasures"
Act III Scene 4: Recitative: Tout l'eclat de l'Olympe (Pollux)
Act III Scene 4: Qu'Hebe de fleurs toujours nouvelles (Small Chorus)
Act III Scene 4: Sarabande: Voici des dieux (One of Hebe's Attendants)
Act III Scene 4: Recitative: Ah! sans le trouble ou je me vois (Pollux)
Act III Scene 4: Air: Que nos jeux (One of Hebe's Attendants)
Act III Scene 4: Recitative: Quand je romps vos aimable chaines (Pollux)
Act IV Scene 1: Esprits, soutines de mon pouvoir (Phoebe, Choir)
Act IV Scene 1: Recitative: Mais que vois-je? (Phoebe, Mercury, Pollux)
Act IV Scene 2: Trio: Tombez, rentrez dans l'esclavage (Phoebe, Mercury, Pollux, Choir of Demons)
Act IV Scene 2: Air des Demons
Act IV Scene 2: Chorus of Demons: Brisons tous nos fers
Act IV Scene 3: Recitative: O ciel! tout cede a sa valeur (Phoebe)
Act IV Scene 4: Aria: Sejour de l'eternelle paix (Castor)
Act IV Scene 4: Chorus of Happy Spirits: Qu'il soit heureux comme nous
Act IV Scene 4: Loure
Act IV Scene 4: Gavotte: Sur les ombres fugitives (A spirit)
Act IV Scene 4: Menuet: Dans ce doux asiles (A spirit, Choir)
Act IV Scene 4: Chorus: Fuyez, fuyez, ombres legeres
Act IV Scene 5: Recitative: Rassurez-vous, habitants forutnes (Pollux, Castor)
Act IV Scene 5: Recitative: Ses jours sont commences (Pollux)
Act IV Scene 5: Entracte
Act V Scene 1: Recitative: Le ciel est donc (Telaire, Castor)
Act V Scene 2: Chorus: Vivez, heureux epoux! (Castor, Telaire)
Act V Scene 2: Recitative: Peuples, eloignez-vous (Castor, Telaire)
Act V Scene 3: Tonnerre
Act V Scene 4: les destins sont contents: ton sort est arrete (Jupiter, Castor, Pollux, Telaire)
Act V Scene 5: Recitative: Palais de ma grandeur, ou je dicte mes lois (Jupiter)
Act V Finale: Chaconne