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Royer, Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer
France France
(1705 - 1755)
3 sheet music
1 MP3

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Royer, Joseph Nicolas Pancrace: "La Zaïde" from "Pièces de Clavecin" for String Quartet

"La Zaïde" from "Pièces de Clavecin" for String Quartet
Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer

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Composer :Joseph Nicolas Pancrace RoyerRoyer, Joseph Nicolas Pancrace (1705 - 1755)
Instrumentation :

String Quartet

Style :


Arranger :
Publisher :
Joseph Nicolas Pancrace RoyerMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Copyright :Public Domain
Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer (ca. 1705 – 1755) was a French composer and harpsichordist. Born in Turin, Royer went to Paris in 1725, and in 1734 became maître de musique des enfants de France, responsible for the musical education of the children of the king, Louis XV. Together with the violinist Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville, Royer directed the Concert Spirituel, starting in 1748. Royer was at the Paris Opéra during the 1730s and the 1750s, writing six operas himself, of which the best known is the ballet-héroïque Zaïde, reine de Grenade. In 1753 he acquired the prestigious position of music director of the chambre du roi (the king's chamber), and in the same year was named director of the Royal Opera orchestra. He died in Paris.

Royer is particularly known for his often extravagant and virtuosic harpsichord music, especially "La Marche des Scythes," which ends his first book of harpsichord pieces. Why the harpsichord works of Pancrace Royer are not performed more often is a mystery. His one book of Pièces de clavecin, published in 1746, is full of spark and variety, ranging from the dulcet “La Zaïde” to the robust jollity of “Les matelots”, and from the eloquence of “La Sensible” to the dizzyingly quirky virtuosity of “Le vertigo”. And while it is Rameau who rightly dominates our knowledge of the musical times in which Royer lived as harpsichord teacher to Louis XV’s daughters, composer of operas and director of Paris’s prestigious Concert Spirituel, as a keyboard composer in the imaginative, full-bodied mould of someone like Forqueray, Royer need not be considered as totally blotted out by the more famous composer’s shadow.

In general, it can be said that Royer gives a greater place than his predecessors in singing in his plays, which is not a coincidence in view of his vocal production. The success of adaptations, more than transcriptions, as La Zaïde (Act V, scene 5, prelude to the quartet "Ah! What a supreme good" of the ballet Zaïde, queen of Grenade) is not surprising, especially if the we look at the numerous collections of tunes by different authors for other popular instruments, such as the flute by the famous Michel Blavet: the themes from Royer's books are legion!

Source: Wikipedia (

Although originally scored for Harpsichord, I created this Interpretation of the "La Zaïde" from "Pièces de Clavecin" for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Added by magataganm the 2019-10-18

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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Viola Arrangements

Viola Arrangements
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