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Mouret: Fanfare and Rondeau

Here’s a hint: Exquisite music for exquisite television.

The name of Jean-Joseph Mouret doesn’t ring a bell anymore these days among music lovers. During his lifetime, though, Mouret enjoyed a very respectable career both as a singer and court composer in his native France. Primarily writing for the opera stage, his works helped to establish the French Baroque musical style. However, his reputation was challenged by the rising stardom of another great French composer, Jean-Phillipe Rameau. As Mouret became increasingly jealous and bitter, his career took a turn for the worst with many financial and social disappointments. The poor guy later died in the mental asylum in his home town. While hardly any of his works are performed anymore, his famous Fanfare and Rondeau helped to keep his name alive as the opening theme to the PBS series Masterpiece Theatre.

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