Arts-Scène Diffusion

Imaginary India

Imaginary India

Three violins, viola, cello, bass viol and harpsichord


While one should avoid using the term ‘orientalism’ (which refers to a 19th-century literary and artistic movement), the public of Louis XIV’s time, and subsequently that of the Enlightenment period, displayed a strong taste for the exotic and a hankering for unfamiliar climes.

Whether in the context of philosophers such as Montaigne or later Voltaire looking to distant races for evidence to support their doctrines and theories (in this light, Molière’s well-known opera-ballet Le Bourgeois can be seen as a brilliant parody of the political motivations of the time), or simply in terms of the search for picturesque decoration, there are numerous examples, especially in 18th-century music. In 1753, the Parisian public gave an enthusiastic reception to the premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes, demonstrating the popularity of these mysterious and exotic fragrances.

Michel Corette
Concerto comique n° 3 «les voyages du berger fortuné aux Indes orientales»
Concerto comique «les Sauvages et la Fürstenberg»

Jean-Philippe Rameau
1er concert en sextuor : La Coulicam/ La Livry / Le Vesinet

François Couperin
Sonate « la Sultane»

Jean-Philippe Rameau
6e concert en sextuor : «l’Egyptienne»
Suite de danses extraites des Indes Galantes



Rameau, La Livri