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Shadow on Concrete Wall

Jean-Baptiste Lully
1632 - 1687 

French composer. After the death of his mother he was appointed ward of the court and at the age of 13 sent to a French aristocratic household as a valet.


There he learned the guitar, organ, violin and dance and got to know the composer Michel Lambert (1610-96), who introduced him to society and later became his father-in-law.


Lully became a dancer and musician for the king and at the age of 30 he became responsible for all royal music.


In the 1660s he composed the incidental music for Molière's pieces as well as those of the great French tragedians.


In the early 1670s he was granted the sole patent for the presentation of operas and produced the series of "lyrical tragedies" - most with librettos by Philippe Quinault (1635-88) - for which he is known, including Alceste (1674), Atys ( 1676) and Armide (1686).


The orchestra he developed was an important forerunner of the modern orchestra. A self-inflicted toe injury with his heavy baton led to his death. His compositional style was imitated across Europe.

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