Playlist: Jean-Philippe Rameau

Jean-Philippe Rameau, one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque era died on this day 248 years ago. Rameau replaced Jean-Baptiste Lully as the dominant composer of French opera and is also considered the leading French composer of his time, alongside François Couperin.

Jean-Philippe Rameau / gravure de Benoist

Rameau’s music has been described as graceful and attractive, allegedly  contradicting the public image of the composer. When he embarked on his operatic career he caused quire a stir for his revolutionary use of harmony, however his music went out of fashion by the end of the 18th century. Today, Rameau enjoys renewed appreciation with performances and recordings of his music ever more frequent.

To remember the impact of Rameau’s work, we’ve made a selection of some of the many recordings of his compositions, all of which are available through Europeana.

Jean-Philippe Rameau Selection by Europeana

These public domain recordings have been made available thanks to the French National Library, many more can be found archived in Europeana. Enjoy this extensive collection and we invite you to share your favourite works from Rameau or recordings from many of the other musicians that can be found in Europeana.

2 thoughts on “Playlist: Jean-Philippe Rameau

  1. Dear Neil,
    Thanks for your post, just a comment about the recording : ok, the recording is soooo old that you don’t need to bother about the interpreters rights but seriously, who can listen to this kind of interpretation nowadays ? it just doesn’t make sense ! European Musicians have been working on it for more than 50 years now (!), especially in France as concerns Rameau, discovered scores in libraries, interpretation methods, original instruments, the results are brilliant and can be heard on records of ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, La Chapelle Royale, Les Talens Lyriques, etc.
    Any possibility to post a good interpretation ?
    All the best, p

  2. Dear Pierre,

    Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately these are the interperations that we have in Europeana that are in the public domain – meaning we can republish the recordings without licencing issues.

    However I appreciate your feedback and when we come to do something similar in the future, I’ll be sure to source the best possible interpretations within licencing restrictions.



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