Dances & Music


The Ballet of the Fairies of the Forest of Saint-Germain (Ballet des Fées de la forêt de Saint-Germain) (Photo credit: FR.Wikipedia)

 A Mélange

These posts are a mélange (a mixture).

In 1635, Louis XIII of France composed a ballet entitled Ballet de Merlaison. It is not great music, but it is lovely. Louis XIII’s Ballet de Merlaison is on YouTube.

Ballets and Suites

At the time the Ballet de cour had started to be a success at Court. Lully wrote dance music for Louis XIV who loved dance and was a dancer.

As for Suites, many were also being composed. They were a combination of pieces some of which were dances, such as the minuet. Italian Luigi Boccherini, who worked in Spain, composed a lovely minuet in the classical style. But he was also influenced by the music of Spain and classical, Iberian music.


However, as courtiers dance, wars of religion were dividing France. There were terrible massacres. Artist Daniel Rabel (1578 – 1637), who was the set and costume designer for two ballets, could not resist a grotesque presentation of his ballets entitled The Ballet of the Fairies of the Forest of Saint-Germain (1625) and The Royal Ballet of the Dowager of Bilbao’s Grand Ball (1626).  The “grotesque” was popular in the early part of the 17th century in France.

Rabel’s Ballets are

  • “Les Fées de la forêt de Saint-Germain” (First performed in February 1625)
  • Ballet de la Douairière de Billebahaut (First performed in February 1626)

As you can see, it all fits together.

  1. Boccherini’s Iberian Music: the Passacaglia & the Fandango (11 August 2012)
  2. Daniel Rabel’s “Grotesque” Depictions of Ballet (10 August 2012)
  3. The Ballet de cour, the Grotesque & a Minuet by Boccherini (8 August 2012)
  4. The Duc de Joyeuse & Louis XIII as Composer (7 August 2012)

La Musica notturna delle strade de Madrid, Op. 30 n. 6 (G. 324) Jordi Savall


(to be continued)

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