Jérôme Hantaï / Alix Verzier / Pierre Hantaï

Marin Marais: Pièces de viole

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Two discs filled with 60 pieces of nonpareil Pièces de viole by the magnificent Marin Marais arranged in four suites and four sets and performed by the trio of bass violist Jérôme Hantaï and Alix Verzier and harpsichordist Pierre Hantaï: what more could any fan of the composer or the instrument want? And, indeed, there is nothing left wanting in these performances. Hantaï and Verzier both display adroit virtuosity, possess warm tones but distinctive approaches, and share a telepathic sense of interplay, all excellent qualities in these intimate chamber works. Brother Pierre Hantaï on the keyboard sticks with them throughout, following them even in the most tempo rubato-saturated Sarabande. The lion's share of the pieces here are in the standard stylized Baroque dance forms, but Marais' expressive melodies, pungent harmonies, and highly individual take on the forms make each piece unique. Though not perhaps the first Marais disc the unfamiliar listener ought to try -- surely one by Jordi Savall, the supreme master of the instrument, ought to be first -- this two-disc set is well worth hearing by everyone who admires these inestimable pieces. Virgin's digital sound is deep, rich, and inviting.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Suite for viola da gamba & continuo in C minor (Pièces de viole, Book III, Nos. 123-134)
1
2:05
2
1:27
3
2:58
4
1:24
5
3:16
6
1:52
7
2:12
8
1:02
9
3:29
Suite for viola da gamba & continuo in G minor (Pièces de viole, Book III, Nos. 76-91)
10
2:18
11
1:04
12
2:05
13
3:20
14
3:08
Suite for viola da gamba & continuo in A major (Pièces de viole, Book III, Nos. 14-25 )
15
2:23
16
1:45
17
1:30
18
3:11
19
1:31
20
3:23
21
2:18
22
2:31
23
1:28
24
4:32
Suite for viola da gamba & continuo in F major (Pièces de viole, Book III, Nos. 26-39 )
25
2:18
26
2:03
27
3:15
28
3:37
29
1:31
30
3:09

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:07
2
4:09
3
1:28
4
2:56
5
1:29
6
1:50
7
2:54
8
0:36
9
4:08
10
2:00
11
2:23
Gigues et Basses varié (2), for viola da gamba & continuo in D major (Pièces de viole, Book III, Nos. 46-47)
12
1:29
13
4:43
14
2:09
15
1:56
16
1:13
Allemande et double, for viola da gamba & continuo in G major (Pièces de viole, Book III, Nos. 94-95)
17
2:17
18
1:57
19
1:49
20
3:18
21
0:54
22
1:27
23
2:50
24
1:59
25
0:45
26
1:27
27
1:12
28
1:00
29
2:04
30
2:27
blue highlight denotes track pick