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Jean-Joseph Mouret

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  1. 1.
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Mouret was a fine singer who gained great popularity not only for his voice but also for his compositions.
By 1707 he found himself in Paris and was soon employed as the master of music for the Marshall of Noailles. Between 1708 and 1736 Mouret served as the superintendant of music at Sceaux. During this period he was also the theatre composer for the New Italian Opera which had just reopened in 1717. He served in this capacity until 1737. In 1720 Mouret was also in service to the king as a member of the King's chamber and was the director of the Concert Spirituel from 1728 until 1734. Apparently despondency grew towards him as his sanity escaped. He was institutionalized in 1737 and died eight months later. Compositions by Mouret included nine operas, ballets and over four hundred divertissements for a numerous plays. "Les fetes ou Le triomphe de Thalie" was perhaps his best opera qualitatively but it had to be reworked because of its controversial nature brought about by alledged sacrilege. This opera-ballet was one of the first operas to contain comedy but it also included the greatest strengths of Mouret. Melody for Mouret was facile and natural. He employed the use of rhythms which were non-symmetrical and fit the rhythms of the spoken word. Dialogues thus contained a realistic air. There was little or no self-aggrandizement contained in this opera, in its attitude or in its musical texture. Instrumental compositions by Mouret, worthy of attention, include the "Suites de symphonies." As ensemble pieces Mouret was able to develope each instrument independently, in an orchestral manner, devoting an enigmatic focus toward the timbres of the instruments in combination. ~ Keith Johnson, Rovi

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