the playlist of Louis XIV, Ensemble K, Belle and Sebastian, Shame and Eminem

  • The King’s Sunset
    Music for the bedroom of Louis XIV

Pieces by Lully, Marais, Couperin, Lalande, Visée, Le Camus, Lambert, La Barre, Lemoyne, Philidor. With Danaé Monnié, Marc Mauillon, Josèphe Cottet, Yoko Kawakubo, Thomas Leconte, Valérie Balssa, Myriam Rignol, Mathilde Vialle, Julie Dessaint, Romain Falik, Sébastien Daucé, Thibaut Roussel (theorbo, guitar and conductor).

This magnificent album sets up, in a way, the playlist of Louis XIV at the privileged moment of “bedtime”. An anthology of pieces and arias with which the monarch likes to surround himself – once he has been relieved of the etiquette of the “supper” and the “great bedtime” given in public -, in the intimacy of a few relatives and faithful, including Madame de Maintenon. Mingle with melancholy pieces, such as this Prelude for theorbo of 1699, by Robert de Visée, or the Atys complaint (1676), by Lully, dances (Gigue, Rigaudon and Bransle de village, by Marin Marais) and ceremonial music: the Large royal coin de Lalande whom the Sun King prized so much. Dreams, memories, echoes of the past bathe the night that advances to the forehead of the aging sovereign – evocations of deceased loves (Mademoiselle de La Vallière, Madame de Montespan) that such Dialogue of Marc-Antoine and Cleopatra, by Lambert, soothing music that calls for sleep (Let it last the night, by Le Camus), and even a lullaby: the haunting and repetitive Dodo, by Couperin. This dive into the royal psyche is sublimated by the excellence of the singers and musicians brought together under the leadership of Thibaut Roussel. Marie-Aude Roux

1 CD and 1 DVD (concert on June 22, 2020) Château de Versailles Spectacles / Outhere Music.

Works by Alexandre Borodine, Claude Debussy, Aaron Copland, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Sophie Lacaze by Ensemble K and Simone Menezes (conductor).

Founded in 2020 by Italian-Brazilian chef Simone Menezes, Ensemble K is called «Classic, Cosmopolitan, Contemporary, Creative, Connected». And that’s true ! He performs reference scores, he is made up of young musicians of various nationalities, he has no shortage of ideas (for example, that of playing a score resulting from collective work in orchestration class), and he is in touch with reality, musical and social. However, it is not enough to put a “K” to each “Kritère” of appreciation to display its innovative identity. You have to prove it by playing in different latitudes. And there, no doubt, this set of ten units is a “case”. As its title indicates, the group’s first disc pays particular attention to accents. By evoking, when it is justified, the local color. The very Slavs Polovtsian dances, of Borodin, seem to be over-vitamin, the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, by Debussy, moves with a very French elegance, and the Choros n ° 5, de Villa-Lobos, fascinates with its tasty mix. Paradoxically, the only piece given in the original roster (Appalachian Spring, de Copland) seems less real than life. What is not the case of the magnificent trio, A story without words, by Sophie Lacaze, which draws the listener into a spider’s web from which he would never want to leave. Pierre Gervasoni

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