Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks (viola da gamba) & Hein Van de Geyn (double bass)
Matangi String Quartet
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This recording of 20th-century French popular music and 18th-century French baroque touches the very heart of what the viola da gamba is about, singing. This lyrical disc displays a wonderful melting pot of well known tunes from the early music repertoire with popular 20-century French chansons - from Marais and Bach to Ferrat and Brel - , performed by viola da gamba in the role of singer, and a string quintet in the role of orchestra.
Ralph Rousseau is a man of extremes. He loves Baroque music as well as hard rock. He rides to his performances clad in jeans and a leather jacket but takes the stage in eighteenth-century costume. He simultaneously studied physics and double bass, completing both cum laude. After, he earned his doctorate in physics but decided to devote himself to music. One can conclude two things from all this: First, if Ralph does something, he does it well; and second, Ralph Rousseau does things his own way, and with success. From 1996 onwards Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks has specialized in performing early music, studying viola da gamba with Jaap ter Linden. He is now an esteemed soloist, very often entirely solo, but also in chamber music settings or in orchestral works such as the Passions and cantatas of J.S. Bach. With the viola da gamba he has played for radio and television and he can be heard on several solo CDs, which have been highly acclaimed in the international press.
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