Today's concert shows us the voice of the viola da gamba through the music of Marin Marais and other contemporary composers in eighteenth-century France, the moment of maximum splendor of the viola da gamba.
Marin Marais published five books for the viola with more than five hundred pieces in which he takes the inheritance of his predecessors one step further, giving the basse de viole a transcendent dimension as the ideal instrument to imitate the inflections of the human voice and express the feelings and passions of the soul.
Several in this program are Pièces de Caractère, a musical form that began to be used in France at the beginning of the 18th century. These are independent compositions, of very different duration and structure and with the main characteristic of being "descriptive" pieces that, with a programmatic character, could portray a person, an object, a situation, or a specific mood. The Muzette remembers, with its incessant pedal on the note the, the sound of the bagpipes and cleats. With Le Labyrinth, the French violagambista builds a story about the journey of a lost character in the labyrinth of Versailles. The Tombeau pour Mr de Saint Colombe is an example of a musical form widely used in the French repertoire whose aim is to describe and extol the virtues of a deceased person, as well as to deepen in the pain for the loss of this relevant person in the life of the author, in this case the teacher of Marais.
Couperin's fame and the high esteem in which he was held by contemporary musicians caused many of his pieces to be transcribed for other instruments: thus, Les Bergeries is a composition by Couperin for the key that Robert de Visée transcribed for the theorbo, Following a practice that was very common at the time. Following a similar logic, La Couperin is the key version of Jean Baptiste Antoine Forqueray, a play originally written for viola da gamba by his father, Antoine Forqueray.
For its part, the work that closes the concert, 32 variations or couplets on the bass of Folía, also known as Folies d'Espagne. they were composed by Marais in a show of deploying all the technical and expressive resources of the viola da gamba to crown it, at least in France, as queen of the instruments
Sara Ruiz, viola da gamba
Rafael Muñoz, theorbo
Laura Puerto, harpsichord
Out of consideration for other users and the performers, this show is not available for children under 5.