Jean – Fèry Rebel (1666-1747)
Jean – Fèry Rebel was a French Baroque composer and violinist in the court of Louis XIV. Les Élémens (a ten movement tone poem) was his final composition and his most striking. The movement entitled Le Cahos is a piece that is quite daring harmonically. The piece has been compared to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring because it is so shocking for its time. It begins with an incredible cacophony of sound (in the beginning of the piece, all seven notes of the d minor scale are sounded at once as a harsh dissonant chord). Les Élémens was first premiered at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris on September 27, 1737. Here is a recording of the first movement Le Cahos. It is performed by Musica Antiqua Köln (a well known early music ensemble) conducted by Reinhard Goebel.