[PLAYLIST] "The King is dead, long live the King!"
On 10 May 1774, Louis XV, King of France and Navarre, last but one monarch under the Ancien Régime, breathed his last breath. We take this opportunity to bring you a very royal playlist.
Louis XV, great-grandson of Louis XIV, succeeded him on the throne of France and Navarre at the age of five on 1 September 1751. Unlike his great-grandfather, Louis XV played only a very minor role in French political life and France's influence in Europe dwindled.
Louis XV handed down to his grandson a nation already in the grip of unrest and in a tight financial situation: the Kingdom of France's economy had been in recession since 1770.
During his reign, Jean-Philippe Rameau had been an important figure. The previous reign had seen the emergence of a style characteristic of the French court. And yet neither Louis XV nor his successor were very fond of music. It was the talents and taste of their spouses and favourites that ensured music continued to be enjoyed and generously supported at Versailles.
We look back over the major works composed during the reign of Louis XV.