Watch: reconstructing Lully's Persée, as seen at Versailles in 1770

Gramophone Mon 6th February 2017

Behind-the-scenes with Le Concert Spirituel and Hervé Niquet

Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel have embarked on a fascinating and highly ambitious project: to record Lully's Persée as it was staged, in historically lavish style, at the inauguration of the Royal Opera House at Versailles Palace, which itself was built to celebrate the wedding of the Dauphin (the future Louis XVI) and Marie Antoinette, in 1770. 

Lully's original work was specially adapted by three composers (Antoine Dauvergne, François Rebel and Bernard de Bury) for the occasion, jut so that the music would fill the grand new venue.

In the video below, Niquet gives his unique insights into the music and the rare historic significance of the 1770 performances, which featured 95 choristers, 15 soloists, 80 dancers, 100 extras, 80 instrumentalists, five sets and 530 costumes.

The recording, which was made at Versailles Palace in 2016, will be released by Alpha Classics in March.

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