Marais: Pièces de viole

Floral design

La Rêveuse (Florence Bolton, Benjamin Perrot, Robin Pharo, Carsten Lohff)
Mirare MIR 386

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here is some marvellously idiomatic playing of marvellously idiomatic music here – the voice of the French Baroque in all its pathos and nobility, though not without lighter moments. The Marais movements are from his last two publications (1717 & 1725). Two skilful arrangements of Couperin for theorbo provide contrast: the barricades have seldom sounded so mystérieuses, though in an entirely good way, I hasten to add. My one reservation concerns the instrumentation of the continuo. The exquisite delicacy of the viol does not need the competition of two plucked accompanists: just one, preferably the theorbo, would have been fine as those pieces in which this is indeed the case demonstrate. The essay is very informative and interesting, even in this slightly lumpy translation, and the general packaging quite robust.

David Hansell

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