Music Trivia – The Death of Lully

I have a small fascination with the different ways composers have died. With all the discussion and speculation about what caused Mozart to die, I wanted to share the accidental death of another opera composer, Jean-Baptiste de Lully.

Lully’s death in March of 1687 was due to disease, but not one you’d necessarily expect. Two months earlier he was conducting an orchestra, but in those days, rather than using a baton, conductors would bang a large stick on the floor to keep time. In his excitement he struck his toe, rather than the floor. The wound went gangrenous, but he refused to has his toe amputated, so he died two months later from blood poisoning.

He’s the overture from one of his most famous works, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.

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