What's in a Name?
The Four Nations Ensemble takes its name from one of France's most extraordinary institutions. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Louis XIV and Mazarin, in order to establish a centralized bureau for the arts to reflect the glory of Versailles and Paris in this golden age, created The College of Four Nations. "Four Nations" alludes to the four monarchies that were considered legitimate by the French crown: France, Spain, Austria and Savoy. It was here the academies of poetry, music, dance, and painting were housed. All these endeavors have created an aura around this great period in French history whose artistic accomplishments continue to enrich our lives as we enter the 21st century. François Couperin's exquisite sonatas called "The Nations" allude to this "college" or French Royal "National Endowment for the Arts." The Four Nations Ensemble, in its love for Couperin's music has adopted the name as its own.
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