Jean-Philippe Rameau's music is a portrait of his time. If the music of Bach is timeless, that of Rameau is precise: You can hear silk sweeping the floors of Louis XV's court, the acoustics of filled theatres; can see daylight change to candlelight. His music is astonishingly imaginative, full of surprise and breath-taking variety. To that, add disarming charm and heart-breaking tenderness. Rameau is a composer of real invention and originality, of 'beauty that defies the caprices of fashion and commands the respect of true artists of all time.
The reason for this transcription is to bring Rameau into the recital halls. Thus the beauty of his music will not only appear in the opera houses, but also share a sonata programme with other great composers, as Beethoven is shared with Schumann is shared with Brahms is shared with Debussy is shared with Scriabine is shared with Rachmaninoff.
Rameau's third opera, Castor et Pollux, a Tragédie en musique, was premiered on October 24th 1737. Its revival in 1754 brought some major changes, including the omission of the Prologue as well as cutting a substantial portion of the recitatives. He also added several instrumental movements.