One of Couperin's most important, varied and profound compositions, 'Apotheose de Lully' is cast in a programmatic form. Each movement tells a section of the story of the acceptance of Lully into Parnassus, his meeting there with Corelli (the founding fathers of the rival French and Italian styles) and Apollo's persuading of them to bring about a reconciliation of the two styles for the sake of 'la perfection de la Musique'. Originally indicated to be performed on two harpsichords or even as a piece for chamber orchestra, Raymond Leppard has carefully devised the piece in such a way as he thinks it might have been played in a formal concert performance, drawing clues on instrumentation from contemporary operatic scores.
The companion piece on this CD, the first two 'ordres' of 'Les Nations' is performed by one of the early pioneering Baroque ensembles, The Jacobean Ensemble (with Neville Marriner playing first violin) under Thurston Dart.
First release on CD.