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PHILIDOR, F-A.D.: Carmen saeculare / Overtures

Composer(s):Philidor, Francois-Andre Danican
Period(s) Baroque (1600-1750)
Genre Classical Music
Category Choral - SecularOperaOrchestral
Catalogue 8.557593-94
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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François-André Danican Philidor pursued successful parallel careers as the composer of over 21 operas and as a chess virtuoso, known not least for his skill in simultaneous blindfold games. His oratorio, Carmen sæculare, is a setting of poems by Horace associated with the Roman centennial celebrations of 17 B.C. Written at the instigation of the Italian scholar Giuseppe Baretti, who chose the Latin texts and sought ‘a man able to temper alternately the solemnity of church-music with the brilliancy of the theatrical’, this majestic, and at times operatic work is coupled with overtures to three of Philidor’s popular and brilliant comic operas.


Review By David Denton,Naxos,March 2007

Sometimes I approach Baroque music without a great deal of enthusiasm, but here I have enjoyed every minute, and fervently commend this release from a famous composer little known today. Francois-Andre Danican Philidor was born in France in 1726 and into a family of musicians who had worked for the royal family since 1650, his father both a distinguished orchestral musician and composer. Somewhere in the distant past his roots were in Scotland, and it was in England that Francois-Andre spent much of his life. He too was to serve in the field of royal musicians and would have enjoyed a highly distinguished career had it not been for the fact that he was also a master chess player of such eminence that even today his name is still known among chess



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