Rameau has long been recognized as one of the greatest figures in French musical history. A music theorist of truly European stature, he was also France's leading eighteenth-century composer. Although he made important contributions to the development of keyboard music and other genres, his finest and most ambitious compositions are in the field of dramatic music, where they stand alongside those of Lully and Gluck as the pinnacles of pre-Revolutionary French opera. To his contemporaries, Rameau's operas at first seemed revolutionary. With hindsight, they now appear firmly rooted in French operatic tradition, not only in their choice of subject matter and overall dramatic structure but in many musical details as well. Rameau's achievement was to invigorate the native tradition by bringing to it a musical imagination of unrivaled fertility, a harmonic idiom of greater richness and variety than that of any French predecessor, and a forcefulness of expression that can still seem astonishing or even overpowering. Les Paladins had its premiere at the Academie Royale in February of 1760 and was revived in Lyons in 1967. This facsimile edition includes an introduction by R. Peter Wolf and a biography of the composer by Graham Sadler.
R. Peter Wolf:
After fourteen years as a professor of music at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the University of Utah, and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and four years as Production Manager and editor for the music publisher Broude Brothers Limited, Peter Wolf took up the profession of non-profit fund raising in 1989. Among the organizations for which he has worked as a senior fundraiser have been Planned Parenthood-Essex County (New Jersey), The National Council of Negro Women, the Center for Excellence in Education, the Network of East-West Women, the Tahirih Justice Center, the Points of Light Foundation, and the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. He received professional certification as a Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in 1996.
Mr. Wolf graduated magna cum laude in music from Harvard and received his Ph.D. in music history from Yale. After graduation from Harvard, Mr. Wolf studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt on a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to The Netherlands, and while at Yale, he studied harpsichord with Ralph Kirkpatrick. Early in his career, Mr. Wolf was an apprentice to Master Harpsichord Maker William Dowd.
Of his New York début the reviewer for The New York Times wrote “The harpsichord can seem a genteel instrument, but Peter' Wolf's debut recital… at Carnegie Recital Hall was about as thrilling as gentility can be. With this performance Mr. Wolf established himself as one of the finest harpsichordists before the public today.” Since then, he has performed widely across the United States both as soloist and as a member of various ensembles.
Mr. Wolf holds a Graduate Certificate in Knowledge Management from the George Washington University. In his “spare” time, he collects stamps and he and his wife breed champion Cardigan Welsh Corgis. As a volunteer, he served four terms as treasurer of the Chesapeake Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club and recently rotated off a 3-1/2 year term on the Board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, DC Metro Chapter.