This book is the most authoritative and up-to-date source of quick reference on the Baroque composer and theorist Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), covering every significant area of his life and creative activity. In particular, the dictionary and work-list provide the reader with easy access to a wealth of cross-referenced material. The dictionary highlights recent discoveries and developments, and corrects a number of errors and misunderstandings. It includes entries on institutions, places, individuals, genres, instruments, technical terms, iconography, editions, specific works and publications, and caters for the fact that some users will be at least as interested in Rameau's theoretical writings as in his life and music. Performers too are well served by the range of entries, many of which illuminate aspects of Rameau's notation and performance practice that can prove puzzling to the non-specialist. The biographical chapter not only provides relevant factual information but also draws attention to significant patterns in Rameau's life and work. This book counters the widespread perception of the composer as a dry, irascible, unsociable individual, revealing him in a far more sympathetic light by giving due weight to hitherto little-known information.
GRAHAM SADLER is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hull and Research Professor at Birmingham Conservatoire. He is known internationally as an authority on French music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.