One of the best things about playing viola da gamba is the music of Marin Marais. He left us five huge books of “Pièces de viole“. There are hundreds of pieces for viola da gamba and basso continuo. Many of the pieces are on French dance models (menuets, gavottes and allemandes) but there are also freely composed Préludes and Pièces de caractère, such as La Guitare below. Some of the most beautiful are heard in the film Tous les matins du monde, and they have rightfully created many fans of the viola da gamba!
With my great friend and colleague, Israel Golani (see his website), we are constantly exploring this repertoire and discovering new treasures amongst the pages of Marais. Here is an example of a programme that we love to play!
La Rêveuse – Marais the Dreamer
- Prelude (Premier Livre, 1686)
- Tombeau pour Monsr. de Lully (Deuxième Livre, 1701)
- La Guitare (Troisième Livre, 1711)
- Suite for solo baroque guitar by Robert de Visée
- from Suitte d’un gout Etranger: L’Ameriquaine – L’Arabesque – La Reveuse – Le Badinage – Gigue la Fleselle (Quatrième Livre, 1717)
- Suite in G from Cinquième Livre, 1725