Michel Lambert and Sébastien Le Camus were among the most important composers of Louis XIV’s reign. While not involved in opera, where Lully reigned supreme, they were ubiquitous in the aristocratic and intellectual salons. Their airs sérieux, published in several editions over the course of the 17th century, display to perfection the refinement and balance central to French good taste. The structure of these pieces is simple; their beauty is enhanced by flowing melodic lines, richly expressive harmony and texts that emphasise the enchantment and sweetness of love. The extensive vocal and instrumental forces used in the recording enable solo airs to be presented in alternation with polyphonic ones, highlighting the sensitivity, harmonic daring and contrapuntal mastery of the two composers.


Michel Lambert et Sébastien Le Camus figurent parmi les compositeurs les plus importants sous le règne de Louis XIV. Loin de l’opéra, où Lully règne en maître absolu, mais omniprésents aux salons des aristocrates et intellectuels, leurs airs sérieux illustrent d’une manière exemplaire le raffinement et l’équilibre propres au bon goût français. De structure simple, la beauté de ces oeuvres est sublimée par des lignes mélodiques souples, une harmonie riche et expressive et des textes qui mettent en avant le charme et la douceur du sentiment amoureux.

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