In 1752 Marie Fel came into contact with the renowned philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. His one-act opera Le devin du village
, in which she took the principal female role, proved a smash-hit at the French court, and Rousseau was so taken by her voice that he composed a Salve regina
for her to sing at the Concert Spirituel that same year. The Mercure de France
enthused about this thoroughly Pergolesian piece and its performance: Mlle Fel sang it ‘as she alone knows how to sing. Much tunefulness and expression have been found in this motet, and connoisseurs hope that Mr Rousseau will continue to enrich secular and sacred music with his works’.
from notes by Graham Sadler © 2014