Diane et Endimion

Nicolas Bernier

Cantata for soprano (c'-a''), bass (G-e'),and continuo

Ref. no Ber 1 (in 'cantatas')           sample page      cover page      To order:     

This work is in the second of four volumes, which is entitled Cantates Françoises / ou / Musique de Chambre/ A Voix Seule/ Et a deux /Avec/ Symphonie et sans Symphonie/ Avec la Basse Continue.

The text is by Louis Fuzelier. He was later to become famous as the author of a large number of plays (opéras comiques), many of them parodies of well known operas. He wrote the libretto for Rameau's opéra-ballet Les Indes Galantes.

Diane et Endimion is, as we might expect therefore, a tongue-in-cheek account of the well-known Greek myth. Endymion, a mortal, became the secret lover of the moon-goddess. He complains that she is only with him at night and he is jealous of the other gods; she upbraids him for ingratitude, considering how devoted she is (she bore him 40 daughters). He concedes that true love admits of no suspicions, and they conclude with an invocation to the goddess of love. The text may be lightweight, but the music is worthy of a composer of whom David Tunley says 'Bernier holds an important place among those who wrote cantatas in France in the eighteenth century. He was one of the first and most successful in this field'.