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It would be quite impossible to understand French baroque art of the 17th and 18th centuries without acknowledging the major social impact caused by the publication of l'Astrée, Honoré d'Urfé's, lengthy novel. Published for the first time in 1607, l'Astrée fuelled the imagination of French society for almost two centuries with allegorical fancies filled with shepherds and shepherdesses and their thwarted and impossible love stories. It remains an essential landmark in French cultural, artistic and social history, which will influence the behaviour of the monarchy and the nobility, reaching even Marie-Antoinette, who will « seriously » play at being a shepherdess at her Trianon estate. On the occasion of an international university symposium gathered in Paris in 2007, the Faenza ensemble reconstituted the musical environment of l'Astrée, the subject of this disc, recorded on the site of the creation of the novel, Honoré d'Urfé's castle, in Forez.