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#2263020 - 04/17/14 10:50 AM A good introduction to history of French classical music?
BWV 846 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 132
Loc: Silver Spring, Maryland
I am going on vacation to France in June (Paris, Bordeaux). Before I go, I would like to do some reading about the history of French classical music and opera.

Is there a good one-volume introduction? Or should I just read the parts about France in Grout's History of Western Music? Merci!

(P.S. I will be going to see Dido and Aeneas at Versailles and Coronation of Poppea at the Paris opera. If you have any other recommendations on things to see, I would appreciate it.)

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#2263068 - 04/17/14 01:15 PM Re: A good introduction to history of French classical music? [Re: BWV 846]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1962
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By: BWV 846
I am going on vacation to France in June (Paris, Bordeaux). Before I go, I would like to do some reading about the history of French classical music and opera.

Is there a good one-volume introduction? Or should I just read the parts about France in Grout's History of Western Music? Merci!

(P.S. I will be going to see Dido and Aeneas at Versailles and Coronation of Poppea at the Paris opera. If you have any other recommendations on things to see, I would appreciate it.)


Can't help with a book, but you are so lucky. I have seen Purcell's Dido done by Opera Atelier several times. What a great work! Have you seen this type of performance before? It is very different from modern opera. Much larger hand gestures, very stylized movement, which was necessary in those days, not having artificial light to enhance the facial expressions. Emotions were shown by these gestures, as much so as in the musical performance itself. And you will get to hear an entirely different sound regarding vocal production and orchestral tuning.

Have fun.

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#2263079 - 04/17/14 01:35 PM Re: A good introduction to history of French classical music? [Re: BWV 846]
BWV 846 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 132
Loc: Silver Spring, Maryland
I saw the Staatsoper "Dido and Aeneas in a fish tank" production in Berlin, which was an amazing staging. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5KlgvD22UE

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#2263098 - 04/17/14 02:26 PM Re: A good introduction to history of French classical music? [Re: BWV 846]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1962
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By: BWV 846
I saw the Staatsoper "Dido and Aeneas in a fish tank" production in Berlin, which was an amazing staging. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5KlgvD22UE


Very, very cool, and very, very not HIP, but who cares?

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