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A French Baroque miscellany
Early Music  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-07-19, DOI: 10.1093/em/caab034
Sadler G.

As part of his policy to establish French artistic supremacy in Europe, Louis XIV encouraged the development of a national musical style spearheaded by two genres that differed radically from anything composed abroad: the tragédie en musique and the motet à grand chœur. The role of Jean-Baptiste Lully in giving the former its distinctive character is well known. But although he never held an official post in the Chapelle du Roi, Lully also played a crucial part in shaping the grand motet, as the genre is nowadays anachronistically known. His eleven motets of this kind, mostly written for state occasions, brought to the genre a new breadth and character that it retained for the best part of a century.