Rice, Paul F.
About the author: Paul F. Rice is Associate Professor of Musicology in the School of Music, Memorial University of Newfoundland. He has been twice awarded major research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. A frequent broadcaster on the CBC Radio, he is often heard in the intermission features of the program, Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.1996 0-7734-8865-0
John Abraham Fisher (1744-1806) was one of the most important English musicians and composers of his generation. The range of his compositional activities demonstrates the diversity of his interests. In addition to playing in theatres, he performed his own works at the pleasure gardens at Vauxhall and Marylebone, and also composed cantatas, anthems, an oratorio, symphonies, and chamber music. The present volume gives evidence of his contributions to the musical life of not only the Covent Garden theatre, but British musical life in general.2004 0-7734-6438-7
During the eighteenth century, the French court made yearly trips to the chateau of Fontainebleau during the autumn months, partaking of the abundant hunting in the surrounding area, and enjoying evenings of operas and plays presented by the leading performers from Paris.
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), the leading French composer of the period, was asked to present five new operas at the chateau in 1753 and 1754. Only one of these works was ever published and three of the five were never heard in Paris. Consequently, these works have remained little known.
This book presents Rameau’s works first heard at Fontainebleau in the context of their compositional and performance histories, a context which is rich in court intrigues and social change. This study is the first published work to investigate these operas in detail, Rameau’s relationship to the court and the public opera house of Paris is reevaluated, and the richness of Rameau’s musical imagination is revealed in works from his maturity.