Music of the French Baroque
Jean Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764)
Pièces de clavecin en concert (du 5ème concert)
(1741): La Forqueray
[4.17]; La Cupis
Pièces de clavecin en concert (du 3ème concert)
(1741?): Tambourins 1 et 2
George Philip TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Chaconne du “Quatuor Parisien”
Marin MARAIS (1656-1728)
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)/ Nicolas CHÉDEVILLE (1705-1782)
Sonata sesta dal “Pastor Fido”
Robert DE VISÉE (1655-1732/33)
La Grotte de Versailles
Charles DIEUPORT (1667-1740)
(1701): Ouverture [4.14]; Allemande [2.30];
Courante [1.38]; Prologue [0.40]; Sarabande [2.44]; Gavotte [0.45];
Menuet [1.03]; Gigue [1.22]
Antoine FORQUERAY (1671-1745)
(pub 1749?) [4.38]
Il Gardino Armonico (Giovanni Antonini (flute); Enrico Onofri (violin);
Vittorio Ghielmi (viola da gamba); Luca Pianca (lute); Ottavio Dantone
Natalie Gal and Uta Gruber (dancers)
Musica et Saltatoria/Kasper Mainz
rec. Hellbrunn Pleasure Palace, Salzburg, Austria, 2002
Picture Format: 16.9; Region Code: 0; Sound Formats: PCM stereo, DD
5.0, DTS 5.0
ARTHAUS MUSIC 100
This companion DVD to Il Giardino Armonica’s
collection of Italian Baroque Music (Arthaus 100 011) concentrates on
the French equivalent. It introduces some lesser-known composers besides
the more familiar Rameau, Telemann and Marais. Marais’s music
was popularised by Jordi Savall’s vivacious performances in the
film Tous les matins du monde.
Mercifully the visuals for this film, unlike those dreamt up for the
Italian Baroque programme are less bizarre and distracting. Here the
backgrounds were filmed, strangely enough in Austria not France, at
Salzburg’s Hellbrunn Palace - why not Versailles? - famous for
its mystic grottoes, water-powered figures and trick fountains. In fact
during the Vivaldi/Chédeville sequence the performers are seen
through a curtain of water fountaining through the seats of the chairs
at a garden-located dining table. All were designed to embarrass and
soak unsuspecting guests.
Rameau’s style will be familiar and his music presented here is
the most satisfying in this programme for its melodies and harmonies.
His richly harmonised and ornamented keyboard pieces - Le Forqueray;
the mournful La Cupis and the cheery La Marais - from
the fifth concert, have charm and eloquence. Telemann’s Chaconne
du “Quatuor Parisien” has a leisurely stateliness.
Vivaldi’s name has been given to a none-too-interesting piece
by, according to the notes, the publishers of theSonata
sesta dal “Pastor Fido” by French composer Nicolas Chédeville.
By contrast the little Marais piece is a charming dance.
Of the remaining works, I warmed most to Robert de Visée’s
La Grotte de Versailles. It features Luca Pianca’s exquisite
lute-playing. The relaxing central Musette has an almost hypnotic
lullaby quality. I wish I could be more enthusiastic about Charles Dieupart’s
Cinquième Suite yet there are one or two interesting moments
to be sure and the dancers are all grace and proud refinement in the
Menuet and Gigue. Forqueray’s La Couperin
is more appealing and more characterful, and even more progressive.
The cello is stern and forceful serving to ground the lute’s lighter
An adventurous French Baroque programme that should appeal to devotees
of the genre.