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"Grandeur de la musique française"

presentation of the basse de violon in French baroque music


  • André Campra (1660 – 1744): Suite du Ballet des Âges

  • Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704): Sonata a huit H.548

  • Marin Marais (1656-1728): Pieces en trio - Suite V in E minor (selection)

  • Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Concert pour 4 parts de violes, H.545

  • Michel Corrette (1707 – 1795): Concerto comique No.25 – Les Sauvages et la Furstemberg



2 flutes, 2 violins, viola da gamba, basse de violon, harpsichord, theorba

Characteristics of the program:

Bass violin (fr. Basse de violon) is a bass string instrument from the violin family of instruments. Originally three-stringed (in Fcg tuning), later from the mid-16th century with a fourth lower string added (in BFcg tuning). A solo repertoire for this instrument does not seem to exist, as it was mainly used v orchestri as a string basso continuo. Thanks to its more massive construction, it was able to offer a wider sound than the cello itself. Despite contemporary descriptions that it was a crude and clumsy instrument with very thick strings that were particularly difficult to sound, it was used in France 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_England until the first half of the 18th century. Very few of these instruments survive in their original condition, as many have been converted into cellos.

In the concert's dramaturgy will also include the rare work Sonata a huit, which contains a recitative for basse de violon (note to huit) directly from Charpentier's orchestra. . The overall dramaturgy of the concert is a transition from the French musical style (Charpentier, Marais) to its connection with the Italian (Corrette). The fact that this music is played in the original low tuning of this period will also be a significant factor.


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