Morality and passion, or the "cantate françoise". The cantata did not make its appearance in France until 1706, with Jean-Baptiste Morin. But the genre had already had a skilful precurseur in the person of Michel Pignolet de Montéclair, who did not wait for the 18th century before publishing (in 1695) a "scène avec récitatif". Midway between the classicism of the Grand Siècle of Louis XIV and the Italian model, the cantata was one of his favourite forms. This predominantly orchestral composer, who became famous with his opera Jephté — which made a deep impression on Rameau —, wrote no fewer than twenty-four cantatas of remarkable interest, five of which may be heard on this record.