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Posted October 1, 2010
After a surprisingly weak prologue, this opera offers an entertaining array of four different stories, each set in a different exotic locale. We get some idea of how Frenchmen imagined the non-European world in the 1730s. The first story, "The Noble Turk," falls in line with Montesquieu's Persian Letters, suggesting that good citizenship and good sense outweigh religious differences. That theme of religious pluralism is lost on me but led to a theme of the Brotherhood of Man dominant in Western Civilization from 1740 to 1947. The most remarkable story is the second, set at Peru at the time of the Spanish Conquest. A conquistador wins out as a love rival over a native priest of the sun. The scene offers a striking hymn to the sun and a musical volcanic eruption of a sort that offended traditional devotees of Lully's style. Actually Rameau's basic style adheres pretty closely to Lully's and the two composers, together, define French Baroque opera. As a ballet opera Les Indes galantes presents a good deal of instrumental music without voices.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 15, 2010
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