Jean-Joseph de Mondonville (December 25, 1711 (baptised) ? October 8, 1772), also known as Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville, was a French violinist and composer. He was a younger contemporary of Jean-Philippe Rameau and enjoyed great success in his day. Pierre-Louis Daquin (son of the composer Louis Claude Daquin) claimed: "If I couldn't be Rameau, there's no one I would rather be than Mondonville".
Between 1734 and 1755 Mondonville composed 17 grands motets, of which only nine have survived. The motet Venite exultemus domino, published in 1740, won him the post of Maître de musique de la Chapelle (Master of Music of the Chapel). Thanks to his mastery of both orchestral and vocal music, Mondonville brought to the grand motet -- the dominant genre of music in the repertory of the Chapelle royale (Royal Chapel) before the Revolution -- an intensity of colour and a dramatic quality hitherto unknown.
Although Mondonville's first stage work, Isbé, was a failure he enjoyed great success with the lighter forms of French Baroque opera: the opéra-ballet and the pastorale héroïque. His most popular works were Le carnaval de Parnasse, Titon et l'Aurore and Daphnis et Alcimadure (for which Mondonville wrote his own libretto in his native Languedocien dialect). Titon et l'Aurore played an important role in the Querelle des Bouffons, the controversy between partisans of French and Italian opera which raged in Paris in the early 1750s. Members of the 'French party' ensured that Titon's premiere was a resounding success (their opponents even alleged they had guaranteed this result by packing the Académie Royale de Musique, where the staging took place, with royal soldiers). Mondonville's one foray into serious French opera - the genre known as tragédie en musique- was a failure however. He took the unusual step of reusing a libretto, Thésée, which had originally been set by the 'father of French opera', Lully in 1675. Mondonville's bold move to substitute Lully's much loved music with his own did not pay off. The premiere at the court in 1765 had a mixed reception and a public performance two years later ended with the audience demanding it be replaced by the original. Yet Mondonville was merely slightly ahead of his time; in the 1770s, it became fashionable to reset Lully's tragedies with new music, the most famous example being Armide by Gluck. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)