It was wonderful to be in Utrecht for the first time in August and to give a paper at the Rameau Symposium. Approaches to Rameau’s complex performing practices was the subject and, with the talented soprano Lucía Caihuela, we explored two of Iphise’s airs from Dardanus – ‘Cesse, cruel Amour’ and ‘O jour affreux!’ focussing on what can be learned through the analysis of primary sources (scores and treatises) and of the music itself (metre, tonality, harmony, structure). And sharing some new resarch for the first time, we examined Rameau’s responses to the idiosyncrasies of the libretto, its text and versification. As it becomes clear that much of Rameau’s music is word-determined, many of his composer-specific practices can begin to be seen as natural consequences of the French language and prosody.

Utrecht Early Music Festival 24-28 August 2018