Jean-Louis Charbonnier / Paul Rousseau

Marin Marais: Premier Livre, Première partie

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The viol music of Marin Marais, introduced to the general public via the largely fictional film Tous les Matins du Monde, which focused on his relationship with his teacher, the mysterious and obscure Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe. In real life Marais was just about as obscure as Sainte-Colombe, at least from the modern perspective, and his large output is generally presented in single instances. This release by a quartet of French Baroque instrument players is part of a complete survey of Marais' music, and one can understand the desire for such a thing, which is one way to comprehend the detailed, arcane world of French viol music is total immersion. For those interested in this line of inquiry, this two-disc set will fill the bill. The performances by viol players Jean-Louis Charbonnier and Paul Rousseau are straightforward, even if they may leave you wishing for the melancholy Jordi Savall brought to the music of Sainte-Colombe in the film. These works, from early in Marais' career, are suites for one or two viols; they were published in versions with and without continuo, and the musicians play them both ways, which makes sense. For the general listener interested in a sampling, other releases in the series might make more sense than this large sequence of dance suites; Marais wrote some vivid representational music (including one work depicting gall bladder surgery, complete with the patient's screams). But this is full competent, albeit marred by over-intimate sound. Booklet notes are in French only.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Suite en ré mineur No. 1 (Viole seule)
1 3:42
2 0:55
3 3:01
4 1:29
5 2:18
6 5:09
7 1:17
8 1:19
Suite en ré mineur No. 1 (Viole & théorbe)
9 2:29
10 0:54
11 2:53
12 2:55
13 2:11
14 1:46
15 3:35
16 1:18
Suite en ré mineur No. 1 (2 Violes, théorbe & clavecin)
17 2:36
18 0:49
19 5:52
20 3:03
21 2:46
22 4:13
23 1:09
24 3:32
25 1:08
26 0:38
27 1:13

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Suite en ré majeur No. 2 (2 Violes & clavecin)
1 1:18
2 1:22
3 5:11
4 3:24
5 2:37
6 1:52
7 1:46
8 1:11
9 6:30
Suite en ré majeur No. 2 (Viole seule)
10 1:46
11 1:16
12 2:59
13 1:32
14 1:59
15 1:57
16 0:50
17 0:47
18 2:47
Suite en ré majeur No. 4 (2 Violes, théorbe & clavecin)
19 1:40
20 1:36
21 4:45
22 1:19
23 2:42
24 3:12
25 2:01
26 1:43
27 6:31
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