The already rich Parisian musical life gained fresh inspiration with the arrival of the young Marie Antoinette in 1770, not only because she introduced her former singing teacher Gluck from Vienna, which led to a revolution in the Parisian opera world. Music at the court also changed; whereas grand, imposing operas and divertissements were preferred under Louis XIV and Louis XV, under Marie Antoinette and her husband, Louis XVI, the emphasis shifted to the salon. An enthusiastic harpist herself, Marie Antoinette significantly advanced the development of the harp. Harp building flourished, and many of the Parisian instrument makers outdid each other, not only with increasingly elaborate decoration but also with technical developments.
The new technical possibilities were accompanied by the establishment of the harp as a concert instrument and a wave of compositions for it, not only by traveling harpists such as Johann Baptist Krumpholtz and Franz Petrini but also by such established composers as Johann Ladislav Dussek and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
With his programme “The Instrument of a Queen – The Harp at Versailles” Xavier de Maistre devotes himself for the first time to this fascinating chapter of European musical history.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade G-Dur für Streicher KV 525 ''Eine kleine Nachtmusik''
Johann Baptist Krumpholtz: Konzert für Harfe und Orchester Nr. 5 B-Dur op. 7
Johann David Hermann: Konzert Nr. 1 in F-Dur für Harfe und Orchester op. 9
Joseph Haydn: Symphonie Nr. 85 B-Dur Hob. I:85 ''La Reine''