Jean-Baptiste Morin (1677-1754) was one of a number of French musicians in the early 18th century caught up in a wave of enthusiasm for Italian music which in the previous century had been kept at bay in France by Louis XIV. The ‘Sun-King’ had been determined that his reign should encourage the creation of a distinctly French style of artistic expression to equal - if not overtake - that of Italy which had dominated European music in the 17th century. Through his gifted court composer Lully he found just the person who could satisfy his personal taste and radiate it into a national one based in Versailles. Yet, towards the end of his reign there were musical stirrings in Paris which would lead to a style in which French and Italian elements were brought together.
The centre of this movement uniting French and Italian styles was the Palais-Royal in Paris, the home of the pleasure-loving Philippe II, nephew to the King on the Orleans side of the family and who, on the death of Louis XIV in 1715, became Regent of France (a kind of royal ‘caretaker’) while Louis XV was growing up. It is not surprising that the cultivation of Italian music was avidly pursued at the Palais-Royal, for Philippe’s up-bringing was freer than it would have been had he been brought up at Versailles. Instead, he enjoyed to the full the cosmopolitanism of the capital - not least that of music. He surrounded himself with Italian music and musicians and so it is not surprising that many of the composers employed in his royal household were intrigued by the possibilities offered by the new form of the cantate française, including Jean-Baptiste Morin.