Marin Marais: Pièces en Trio

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A Double Album!

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MARIN MARAIS: PIECES EN TRIO
Marin Marais was the most famous viol player in 17th century France, and his numerous books of suites des violes have earned him a well-deserved place in the Pantheon of music.

 

Marais published his “Pieces en trio pour les Flutes, Violon & Dessus de Viole” in 1692. This is a set of over 60 pieces, for two melody instruments and basso continuo, assembled into six suites. They are mostly dance and free movements, with some wonderful variation movements.

The music is unfailingly delightful, and full of lovely tunes. As always with French baroque music, the performance is key to getting the right feel for the music, and Musica Pacifica hits this one out of the park.

 

Their handling of the delicate rhythms, with judicious use of inégales, and careful, idiomatic ornamentation, all help make the music really sound alive.

 

Musica Pacifica has taken the title at face value and used a number of different melody instruments: violin, oboe, recorder and voice-flute (a tenor recorder in D). These little changes make for great variety, which makes this music extremely engaging.

 

They have played around a bit with the suites, creating ten suites out of the original six. Some have been transposed to better suit some instruments (ie. oboe and lute), and to break up the longer suites.

 

The other neat twist is that, on occasion, the upper parts are doubled by two instruments, so that these pieces are played “en symphonie,” which lends them a weightier sound, and provides contrast to the pieces played by soloists.

 

No wonder one fan said, “This is a brilliant recording. I cannot find anything comparable.
The ingenuity of the recording lies as much with the choice of instrumentation as with anything else”!
 

TRY A SAMPLE:

Suite in G Minor, Gigue

Suite in G Minor, Sarabande

Suite in D Major, Prelude, Rigaudon, Bransle de Village

 

 

REVIEWS

“…Ravishingly beautiful… warm, expressive, and intensely alive to every nuance, this is playing to ravish the senses….”

– Fanfare Magazine, January/February 1998

 

* * * * * – 5 stars – Highest rating
“By turns languorous and affectful and irresistibly sparkling… their elegant, stylish, and thankfully unmannered performances are all one could wish.”

– Goldberg Magazine (Spain), Spring 1998

 

CD of the Month:
“This is the crème de la crème of the West Coast early music scene… a world-class performance: light, relaxed and heartily refreshing.” 

– Alte Musik Aktuell (Germany), September 1997

 

* * * * * – 5 stars – Highest rating
“There is a real sparkle both in these performances and in the way they have been recorded.”

– Classic CD, November 1997

 

“Musica Pacifica’s ensemble playing is extremely well-polished and impressively precise – nimble but also graceful, perfectly matched in timbre, and beautifully phrased. Judith Linsenberg is simply ravishing on recorder. Her passagework is superb, technically flawless, but never lifeless, and the slow movements are lusciously indulgent, without being cloying. Gonzalo Ruiz’ oboe playing is incredibly expressive, almost vocal at times, but also capable of an easy agility that sounds almost effortless. Elizabeth Blumenstock has a rich, warm, sound, with a lightness and grace that always ‘breathes’ with the wind players, and flawless intonation.

“Musica Pacifica’s recording of the Pièces en trio is the quintessence of the French Baroque – two and a quarter hours of pure pleasure!”

– Boston Early Music News, May 1998

 

“The playing is stylish and assured, full of mordant touches.”

– Early Music, August 1997

 

PERFORMERS:

Judith Linsenberg, recorder
Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin
Gonzalo X. Ruiz, baroque oboe
Roy Whelden, viol
Steven Lehning, viol
Michael Eagan, archlute
Byron Schenkman, harpsichord

 

TRACKS: 

CD 1

Suite in G minor:
Prélude
Fantaisie
Sarabande
Rondeau
Gigue
Menuet
Menuet
Pasacaille

Suite in B flat major:
Symphonie
(Sarabande)
Air
Rondeau
Plainte
Chaconne

Les Contrefaiseurs

Suite in G minor:
Plainte
Gavotte
Sarabande
Air
Petite Passacaille

Suite in B flat major:
Prélude
Caprice
Sarabande Grave
Gavotte
Gigue
La Marianne
Menuet I
Menuet II

Suite in D major:
Prélude
Sarabande
Gavotte en Rondeau-Double
1er Menuet
2e Menuet
Gigue
Symphonie
Fantasie Champestre
Bransle de village
3e Menuet
4e Menuet
Rigaudon
Bransle De Village

CD 2

Suite in C major
Préude
Sarabande
Loure
Bagatelle
Rondeau
Chaconne

Suite in D minor:
Caprice
Gavotte
Sarabande En Rondeau
Menuet

Suite in C major:
Fantaisie
Sarabande
Gavotte
Menuet
Autre

Suite in C minor:
Prélude (Lentement)
Sarabande grave
Rondeau
Caprice
Gavotte
Menuet
Autre
Fantaisie gay
La Desolée, ou Passacaille Lente

Suite in E minor:
Prélude (Lentement)
Fantaisie
Rondeau
Menuet
Sarabande
Passacaille

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