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Cambert, Robert

Cambert, Robert (b Paris, c.1628; d London, 1677). Fr. composer, harpsichordist and organist; colleague in Paris of the poet Pierre Perrin, with whom he collaborated on Pastorale (1659) and Ariane, ou Le mariage de Bacchus (1659). In 1669 Perrin was awarded monopoly for perf. of opera in Fr. language and he and Cambert founded a company. Cambert's Pomone (1671), regarded as the earliest true Fr. opera, ran for 8 months. On Lully taking over the monopoly in 1672, Cambert went to Eng. where Louis Grabu was Charles II's Master of the Musick. Founded a Royal Academy of Music, at which a revised edition of Ariane was perf. in 1674, but the enterprise soon failed. Only fragments of his compositions remain.

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Cambert, Robert

Robert Cambert (rōbĕr´ käNbĕr´), c.1628–1677, French composer; pupil of Chambonnières. His Pastorale d'Issy (1659) and other works are among the first real French operas. With the librettist Pierre Perrin (1625–75) he created French recitative in operas, including Pomone (1671), which contains all the elements of later French opera such as short symphonies, airs, and dialogues. Both men founded the first French opera company in 1669, but after losing control of this venture to Jean Baptiste Lully, Cambert settled in London where he was possibly murdered.

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Cambert, Robert

Cambert, Robert

Cambert, Robert, French composer; b. Paris, c. 1628; d. London, c.Feb. 1677. He was a pupil of Cham-bonnières. In 1652 he became organist at St. Honore in Paris. He then was made composer to the queen mother, Anne of Austria, in 1662. His first venture on the lyric stage was La Pastorale, written with the librettist Perrin and successfully produced at the Château d’Issy in 1659; it was followed by Ariane, ou Le Manage de Bacchus (rehearsed in 1661) and Adonis (1662; not perf.; MS lost). In 1669 Perrin received letters patent for establishing the Académie Royale de Musique (the national operatic theater, now the Grand Opéra); he brought out, in collaboration with Cambert, the opera Pomone (1671); another opera, Les Peines et les plaisirs de l’amour, was written, and produced in Paris in March 1671, before Lully secured the patent. In 1673, after Lully secured the patent in violation of the agreement with Molière, Cambert went to London. With his former pupil Louis Grabu, he founded a Royal Academy of Musick in 1674 for the production of stage works.

Bibliography

A. Pougin, Les Vrais Créateurs de l’opéra français, Perrin et C. (Paris, 1881).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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