Music distinguishes itself from the other arts by its evanescence: as soon as it has been heard, it evaporates, leaving no trace other than in the head of its auditors. Antoine Watteau, the most musical of the painters of his time, practised his art in the same way: of the moment. The softness of the colours, the fragility of the light, the delicacy of the lines, the airiness of the spaces, all is ephemeral and fleeting. His celebrated Pèlerinage à l’Isle de Cithère, accepted into the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1717, brought to the painter the title of "Peintre des fêtes galantes" (Painter of Gallant Festivities). The spirit of Galanterie is an evocation of a voyage, of the exotic, of the exploration of new territory, of a seemingly untamed Nature, but one skillfuly arranged for man’s pleasure. "Galer" means nothing more than "to amuse oneself". No reckless sensuality here, no extravagance that might threaten the fragile equilibrium of a society based on pleasantry and humour. Time is only an instant, the world in unstable equilibrium. And yet this vision seems also to contain a hint of melancholy. The subjects of the idyll are not new, insofar as they are reminiscent of the Pastoral, inherited from antiquity: a bucolic tableau where pleasure is taken in a setting where shepherds and shepherdesses live out their amours. Marain Marais depicted like no other this spirit of Galanterie in his so-called Pièces de Caractère, such as Le Troilleur, Le Petit Badinage, La Désolée, La Simplicité paysane, Resveries mesplaiziennes or Les Amusements.
This disc is the sequel to the 2012 Ramée publication Hommages (RAM 1105).
MIENEKE VAN DER VELDEN studied viola da gamba with Wieland Kuijken at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, and was awarded the soloist diploma in 1988. One of northern Europe's leading players, she has been invited to play at various festivals in the Netherlands and across Europe, in a wide range of chamber-music ensembles as well as a soloist in renowned ensembles such as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (Ton Koopman), Concerto Vocale (René Jacobs), Collegium Vocale (Philippe Herreweghe), Les Talens Lyriques (Christophe Rousset), the Netherlands Bach Society (Jos van Veldhoven) and Cantus Cölln (Konrad Junghänel). She plays music ranging from the French viola da gamba repertoire, and 17th century English music, to Bach's obbligato solo arias. Mieneke van der Velden has recorded three discs with the Dutch label Channel Classics, and four for Ramée, including with her ensemble L'Armonia Sonora, all of which have been enthusiastically received. She currently teaches viola da gamba at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatoire and at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, where she has instituted a consort-tradition, together with the recorder-, lute- and singing-departments.
FRED JACOBS studied lute and theorbo with Anthony Bailes at the Sweelinck Conservatoire in Amsterdam. In 1985 he co-founded The Locke Consort, widely praised for their interpretations and recordings of 17th-century English chamber music. He is a member of the Gabrieli Consort & Players, The Parley of Instruments, the Baroque Orchestra of the Netherlands Bach Society and the Monteverdi Continuo-ensemble of the Bavarian State Opera. Fred Jacobs is a regular accompanist of many distinguished singers, such as Charles Daniels, Michael Chance and Maarten Koningsberger. With Johannette Zomer he has recorded a series of programmes devoted to 17th-century monody, for which his research has unveiled many hidden treasures (Channel Classics). Over the years Fred has been a guest at many of the major early music festivals in Europe and the United States. He performs in opera productions in London, Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, Vienna and Florence, and has worked with conductors such as Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Ton Koopman, Ivor Bolton, Andrew Parrott, Marc Minkowski and Richard Egarr. With Emma Kirkby, Johannette Zomer and Maarten Koningsberger he runs workshops on the English lute song, and the French Air de Cour. Since 1995 he has been teaching lute and theorbo at the Amsterdam Conservatoire.
|Pièces en ré mineur (Livre II, Suite n° 1, 1701)|
|1. Prélude. Lentement|
|2. La Folette. Gay|
|4. Ballet en rondeau|
|Pièces en sol majeur (Livre V, Suite n° 6, 1725)|
|5. Prélude (Estienne Le Moine)|
|7. Allemande La Fière|
|9. 2e Menuet|
|10. Rondeau Le Troilleur. Gracieusement|
|11. Le Petit Badinage. Legerement|
|12. Sarabande La Désolée (Livre II, Suite n° 4)|
|13. Gigue La Précieuse. Très gay|
|14. Chaconne en rondeau (Livre II, Suite n° 4)|
|Pièces en mi mineur (Livre V, Suite n° 7, 1725)|
|15. Prélude (Robert de Visée)|
|17. La Simplicité paysanne. Gay. Et doux|
|18. Resveries mesplaiziennes|
|19. Les Amusements|
|Pièces en do majeur|
|20. Prélude (Robert de Visée)|
|21. Muzette (Livre IV, Suite d'un goût étranger, 1717)|
|Pièces en fa majeur (Livre III, Suite n° 3, 1711)|
|23. L'Arabesque. Legerement (Livre IV, Suite d'un goût étranger)|