Jean-Baptiste Lully

Isis

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687)

Tragédie en musique en un prologue et cinq actes sur un livret de Philippe Quinault
Créée le 5 janvier 1677 à Saint-Germain en Laye

 

Prologue :

Thalie : Ève-Maud Hubeaux
La Renommée/Melpomène : Bénédicte Tauran
Calliope : Ambroisine Bré
Apollon : Cyril Auvity (Beaune/Vienne) / Robert Getchell (Paris/Versailles)
Neptune : Philippe Estèphe

 

Tragédie :

Isis/Io : Ève-Maud Hubeaux
Mycène/Junon : Bénédicte Tauran
Iris/Syrinx/Hébé : Ambroisine Bré
Pirante/La Furie : Cyril Auvity (Beaune/Vienne) / Robert Getchell (Paris/Versailles)
Mercure : Fabien Hyon
Jupiter/Pan : Edwin Crossley-Mercer / Jean-Sébastien Bou (Wien)
Argus : Philippe Estèphe
Hierax : Aimery Lefèvre

 

Chœur de chambre de Namur
Les Talens Lyriques
Direction musicale : Christophe Rousset

 

Enregistrement discographique à paraître

Ce projet reçoit le généreux soutien d’Aline Foriel-Destezet

The first performance of Isis in 1677 for the Court provoked strong reactions. The plot yet again brings a flighty Jupiter centre stage who, wooing the nymph Io only attracts acrimony from his own wife Juno. The libretto will lead the characters into a series of bizarre and fantastic adventures which will see the God Pan make his famous flute, Mercury transform Hierax, who is engaged to Io into a bird and Io to descend into the underworld.

The public immediately thinks it has recognized a caricature of the jealous attitude of Madame de Montespan towards Madame de Ludres, the king’s latest favourite. The performances are suspended, and Quinault is exiled for two years.

History has essentially dwelled on this anecdotal incident, thus not giving the work the success that it should have deserved. For Lully dares introduce here an ultimate refinement: he crafts a musical structure consisting of pieces, using common motives, he invents descriptive procedures – such as “les trembleurs”, these shaking motives which depict the cold, used later on by Purcell, Vivaldi and Salieri – demonstrating a musical expressivity as yet unheard of for illustrating feelings or characters.

© Les Talens Lyriques – Christopher Bayton

Linked
resources
Isis | Resources
Isis | Resources
Pedagogical documentation