Clérambault: Le Triomphe d'Iris

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Louis-NicolasClerambault (1676-1749)

Le Triomphe d'Iris('Pastorale')

The son of a musician at the court of Louis XIV, Nicolas Clerambault was born in Paris on 19th December 1676. Histeachers were Andre Raison (organ) and Jean-Baptiste Moreau (composition). In1715 he followed Guillaume Gabriel Nivers as master of music at the MaisonRoyal de Saint-Cyr, an educational establishment for girls both noble and poor,founded in 1684 by Louis XIV and given over to Madame de Maintenon. In the sameyear, he also took over the organ of the ?ëglise Saint-Sulpice in Paris.

Finally, in 1719, he replaced Andre Raison at the organ of the Dominicanconvent in the rue Saint-Jacques. Clerambault also organised concerts at hishome in the rue du Four in Paris, whilst being invited by the Jesuits tocompose interludes for the tragedies which they used to put on in their Coll?¿geLouis-le-Grand. Clerambault's abilities were still sought after on severaloccasions, be it to judge an organist's ability or examine and approve a plain-songmethod. To the end of his life, Clerambault adhered to the doctrine offreemasonry then nascent in France, as is testified by one of his lastpublications, the Cantate des Francs-Ma?ºons. Enriched by all theseactivities, the life and career of Clerarnbault developed extremely serenely('His talents were not clouded by caprices. He was a good father, a goodhusband, a good friend') until his death on 26th October 1749. Clerambault'sname did not die. Nicolas's two sons, Cesar Fran?ºois and Evrard Dominique,succeeded him at Saint-Cyr and Saint-Sulpice.

Clerambault's work is very varied, balanced between the secular andreligious domains. The first publication dates from 1704 (Livre de Pieces declavecin). Then came the Premier Livre de Cantates (1710),the Livre d'orgue (c 1715), the second livre de Cantates (1713),seven airs serieux et ?á boire (between 1697 and 1714), le Bouclier deMinerve, Cantate (1714), Abraham, Cantate (1715), the Troisi?¿meLivre de cantates (1716), La Muse de l'Opera ou les Caract?¿res Lyriques,Cantate (1716), a collection of six motet, (c. 1719), the Quatri?¿me Livre decantatas (1720), Le Soleil, vainqueur des nuages, Cantate allegorique (1721),the Cinqui?¿me Livre de Cantates (1726), the songs and motets for use inthe Eglise et Communaute des dames de la Royale Maison de St Louis ?á St Cyr, intwo volumes (1733), the Francs-?¡Ma?ºons (1743) and the two Idilles deSaint-Cyr (1745). A number of works remain in manuscript form, includingthe pastorale Le Triomphe d'Iris.

Le Triomphe d'Iris, sub-titled 'Pastorale set to music by MonsieurClerambault, organist' is dated 1706. Indications in the score suggest thatthis large-?¡scale pastorale was meant to be presented with dances and scenery,but we have no real knowledge of the circumstances concerning the compositionand production of the work.

Le Triomphe d'Iri, is made up of three entrees, each divided intoseveral scenes, the whole preceded by a three-part overture in the Frenchstyle. A single setting 'represents a delightful grove, showing in thebackground the temple of love &c...' The principal characters are twoshepherd couples, Daphnis and Sylvie and Tircis and Philis, with, at the end,the arrival of Iris and Love The plot moves around recurring, complementarythemes, graduating from the peace obtained by detachment, to the suffering ofundeclared or unrequited love, then to the happiness of hearts in harmony. Themisunderstandings allow the plot to knit together and evolve to a happy ending.

We know no more regarding the initial reception of the Pastorale thanwe do of the circumstances of its creation. However, in the Triomphe d'Iris,there is no shortage of dramatic and, especially, musical qualities,including choral development, the brio of the many dances and the care takenover instrumentation.

Catherine Cessac

Translation: Wil Gowans


Item number 8554455
Barcode 636943445525
Release date 01/01/2000
Category Song
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Composers Clerambault, Louis-Nicolas
Clerambault, Louis-Nicolas
Conductors Niquet, Herve
Niquet, Herve
Orchestras Concert Spirituel, Le
Concert Spirituel, Le
Producers Fox, Simon
Fox, Simon
Disc: 1
Le Triomphe d'Iris (Pastorale)
1 Entree I: Overture
2 Entree I Scene 1: Prelude
3 Entree I Scene 1: Marche
4 Entree I Scene 1: Sarabande
5 Entree I Scene 1: Menuet
6 Entree I Scene 1: Air - Silvandre
7 Entree I Scene 1: Trio puis choeur
8 Entree I Scene 1: Bourree
9 Entree I Scene 1: Canaries
10 Entree I Scene 2: [Air italien]
11 Entree I Scene 3: Daphnis et Silvie
12 Entree II Scene 1: Prelude
13 Entree II Scene 2: Philis et Tircis
14 Entree II Scene 3: Philis
15 Entree II Scene 3: Rigaudon
16 Entree II Scene 3: Menuet
17 Entree II Scene 3: Une bergere
18 Entree II Scene 3: Loure
19 Entree II Scene 3: Passepied
20 Entree II Scene 3: Chaconne chantante. Rondeau
21 Entree III Scene 1: Prelude
22 Entree III Scene 2: Silvie et Daphnis
23 Entree III Scene 2: Silvie
24 Entree III Scene 3: Simphonie agreable
25 Entree III Scene 4: Prelude pendant que l' Amour a
26 Entree III Scene 4: Choeur de la suite de l' Amour
27 Entree III Scene 4: Sarabande pour les suivans de
28 Entree III Scene 4: Premier passepied pour les ber
29 Entree III Scene 4: Deuxieme passepied
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