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Daphnis et Eglé and La Naissance d’Osiris - two unfamiliar titles - two works that have rarely seen the light of day. Setting them alongside Rameau’s immense Tragedies Lyriques one might be tempted to dismiss them as flimsy entertainments but on closer inspection they reveal a world full of charm, humanity, sensuality, and grace.
These are not pieces written for the opera houses of Paris but for the private, more intimate, court performances at Fontainebleau. Away from the glare of the Paris critics at a time when the musical world was in the throes of the tumultuous Querelle des Bouffons, Rameau was able to experiment with more European styles. A great sense of freedom emanates from these scores - Rameau making his own journey through the culturally diverse world of the Age of Enlightenment.