Lully, Jean Baptiste
c.1632 - 1687
In 1653 Lully was employed by the "Sun King," Louis XIV, as composer to the royal court. Eight years later he was elevated to director of the royal chamber music, and one year after that to music teacher of the royal family.
Lully was director of Paris's Academie royale de musique, in which position he exerted a great influence upon opera in France. His output is primarily operatic, including some collaborative works with Moliere.
In addition, Lully composed ballets, sacred vocal pieces, and incidental music for the theater.
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1683 - 1764
Rameau replaced Jean-Baptiste Lully as the dominant composer of French opera and he is also considered the leading French author of music for the harpsichord of his time.
In 1720s he won fame as a major theorist of music with his "Treatise on Harmony".
His debut "Hippolyte et Aricie" caused a great stir and was fiercely attacked for its revolutionary use of harmony by the supporters of Lully's style of music. Nevertheless, Rameau's pre-eminence in the field of French opera was soon acknowledged.
Rameau's music had gone out of fashion by the end of the 18th century and it was not until the 20th that serious efforts were made to revive it.
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