Jean-Féry Rebel

Rebel was a student of the great composer Jean-Baptiste Lully. By 1699, Rebel had become first violinist of the Académie royale de musique (Royal Academy of Music) and at the Opéra. Rebel traveled to Spain in 1700. Upon his return to France in 1705, he was given a place in the prestigious ensemble known as the "Vingt-quatre Violons du Roy" ("Twenty-four Violins of the King"). Rebel served as court composer to Louis XIV and maitre de musique at the Académie, and directed the Concert spirituel.

Rebel was one of the first French musicians to compose sonatas in the Italian style. Many of his compositions are marked by striking originality that include complex counter-rhythms and audacious harmonies that were not fully appreciated by listeners of his time. His Les Caractères de la danse combined music with dance, and presented innovative metrical inventions. The work was popular and was performed in London in 1725 under the baton of George Frideric Handel. In honor of his teacher, Rebel composed Le Tombeau de M. Lully (literally, "The Tomb of Monsieur Lully"; figuratively, "A Tribute to Lully"). Some of Rebel's compositions are described as choreographed "symphonies." Among his boldest original compositions is Les Elémens ("The Elements") which describes the creation of the world.

His son Francois Rebel (1701-1775) also was a composer, noted violinist, and member of the "Vingt-quatre Violons du Roy." He co-wrote and co-directed operas with Francois Francoeur.

From Wikipedia

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1695 Recueil de douce Sonates par Monsieur Rebel, Paris, 1712 4.00 stars 50 CD

Recorded in 1994 and 1996 the Ensemble Rebel use authentic instruments or period copies. Led by baroque violinist Jorg-Michael Schwarz, a second violin, viola de gamba and harpsichord or organ they perform works expressly composed for the viola de gamba as a continuo instrument.

The blend of the individual voices from the Ensemble Rebel is impeccable. The players display a sure quality of tone and subtle colouring which is perfectly lovely. In the feature-work their account of the Le Tombeau de Monsieur de Lully is given an exceptionally sensitive and endearing performance where nothing is rushed or effusive.

This recording of late baroque Trio Sonatas from Rebel is surely one of the finest of the series of reissues from the DHM label.

Ensemble Rebel