Diapason d'or -
Choc de Classica
These Pièces de viole by Marin Marais first appeared in five volumes, dated 1686-9, 1701, 1711, 1717 and 1725 respectively. The small world of viol players was in full ferment when he published his first Livre: alongside this tradition of the solo viol there developed a highly original practice of two or three viols playing together. Furthermore, one of the great novelties of this volume is the addition of the continuo. However, the continuo part was not ready when the edition itself was published in 1686. We may therefore imagine that these pieces were also played without continuo, as is also the case with other pieces that still only exist in manuscript and that have no continuo line. We should, however, admit that the continuo adds considerable harmonic and expressive support to these pieces. The continuo part was not printed finally until 1689: ”When I gave the Public my Book of Pièces for one and two Viols, I intended to include the parts for bass continuo, for they are an essential part of it. Given, however, that music engraving is a very time-consuming enterprise, I was obliged to delay their appearance until today. I have figured them completely, so that they may be played on the Harpsichord or the Theorbo, two instruments that go very well with the solo Viol”.This Premier Livre contains 93 pieces grouped by key according to the lute and harpsichord traditions. The pieces were published following the order of the classic French Suite, i.e. Prelude and/or Fantasia, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue, followed by the “petites danses”, Minuet, Gavotte, one or two Rondeaux and finally a Passacaglia or Chaconne. François Joubert-Caillet and his colleagues of the ensemble L'Achéron have chosen the instruments for the continuo group according to the moods and emotions of the various suites: the more intimate works use only a theorbo or a guitar, the more flowery works employ a theorbo and a guitar or archlute, while the radiant, virile and many-hued works have been allotted the harpsichord. Given the extreme length of the Suites in D minor, we have divided each of these into two suites so that they can be more easily appreciated. For the same reason, the order of the Suites on this recording does not follow the order of the 93 pieces in the Premier Livre; given that the volume was not compiled with the intention that it be either played or heard in order from start to finish, we have attempted to make the listener’sexperience as comfortable as possible with the use of contrasting colours and instrumentation.