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Les Indes galantes

This performance of Les Indes galantes is rather recent and it is, in my opinion, very entertaining.  Jean-Philippe Rameau‘s Les Indes galantes is performed by the ensemble Les Arts Florissants under the direction of its founder (1969), William Christie.

“William Lincoln Christie (born 19 December 1944 in Buffalo, New York) is an American-born French conductor and harpsichordist.   He is noted as a specialist in baroque repertoire.” (Wikipedia)

Les Indes galantes features Amerindians, which makes it a unique opéra-ballet.  An opéra-ballet is of course different from a tragédie lyrique or French lyric tragedy.  Yet, Les Indes galantes bring to mind comedy rather than tragedy.  It is, nevertheless,  an example of music originating in Italy and brought to France by Lully who created French lyric tragedy, music in the “grand manner.”

The libretto can be read at the following site: Les Indes galantes.  The main divisions are Entrées.  These are our four acts and  include conversations and airs (arias), such as the Air pour les esclaves africains.  

You will note that there are two prologues.  There should be one only.  I thought it was best to include both.  Some airs are perhaps missing, but they can be found on YouTube, sung separately, but the following videos is as complete a performance as I could assemble.

Rameau, by Carmontelle, 1760

  • Prologue
  • Le Turc généreux,
  • Les Incas du Pérou,
  • Les Fleurs, Fête persane,
  • Nouvelle Entrée, Les Sauvages

Les Indes galantes – Prologue (1)

Les Indes galantes – Prologue (2)

Les Indes galantes – Les Sauvages (1)

Les Indes galantes – Les Sauvages (2)
Menuet pour les Guerriers et les Amazones I & II; Prélude – Régnez, plaisirs et jeux! Triomphez dans nos bois!
Les Indes galantes – Les Sauvages (3)

Les Indes galantes – Les Sauvages (4)