LA DONNA MUSICALE – Program Notes

 

PROGRAM NOTES

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the French air was considered a popular genre, intended for immediate consumption. Highly regarded composers such as Jean-Baptiste Lully and François Couperin, along with their amateur contemporaries, wrote airs exploring the full gamut of human emotions. Whether expressing unrequited love, coyness, lust, drunkenness, sorrow or despair, the air was employed as an emotive vehicle much like the pop tunes of today. French airs are of particular interest to the modern listener because they represent urban music that was separate from the sophisticated taste and etiquette associated with lofty court entertainment.

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