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La Carte de Tendre
Ulrike Volkhardt (recorder), Ann Morgan (harpsichord)
That both music as well as literature led a second rich life in the city of Paris is something that is not as widely known. It was above all women who fashioned an intellectual space for artistic interexchange at a high level. Unconstrained by the conventional expectations and possibilities, Mademoiselle de Scudéry, among others, created a highly regarded literary salon that was also frequented by many men. As an author of novels (she initially published under the name of her brother), she was very successful and stood at the center of social life in the Cité. To her ten-volume novel Clélie, she added a Carte de Tendre, a veritable painted Map of Tenderness that was much noted by her contemporaries and also mentioned later. La Carte de Tendre as a reflection of the importance that was attached especially to the detailed occupation with feelings and love found its counterpart in the countless and highly differentiated movement headings of the music at the court of Versailles. In music, too, there was a rich life outside the court. Active in the Cité were musicians and composers, including Jacquet de la Guerre, who was highly regarded throughout Europe already in her day. As the “illegitimate” daughter of the king, she was initially educated at court and trained as a harpsichordist and composer. She then married, and did not continue to cultivate her own skills. However, after the death of her husband, she again composed intensively and in this way attained great recognition and esteem. With her music and that of the male court composers, the program leads into the not only courtly, and not only Baroque Arcadia of feelings. One highlight of the CD is the exertion of one of the only twelve still existing original two-manual harpsichords by Andreas Ruckers from 1628 which survived times in nearly unchanged mode.
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Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)
Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre: Sonatas for violin and basso continuo
Les Dominos: Florence Malgoire (violin & conductor), Guido Balestracci (bass viol), Jonathan Rubin (theorbo & guitar) & Blandine Rannou (harpsichord)
It was Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Dictionnaire de Musique who quoted the philosopher Fontenelle’s famous outburst ‘Sonata, what do you want from me?’. The Italian sonata was the fashion in France at that time and composers had abandoned the character pieces and the works in dance forms that had typified French music until then. Couperin, a proud champion of French music who was nonetheless attracted by the charms of Italian music, had tried to reconcile the musical tastes of the two nations by giving illustrative titles to the various movements of his sonatas.
This new series of recordings from Ricercar will explore the history of the sonata in France at the beginning of the 18th century. The structural freedom and the undeniable sense of drama implicit in the Sonatas by Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre provide an excellent delineation of our theme. Louis XIV was not wrong about this music: ‘‘Dinner being over, His Majesty spoke to Mlle de la Guerre in a most gracious manner; after having praised her sonatas extensively, he said to her that they could not be compared to any other such works. Mlle de la Guerre could not have received higher praise, for these words revealed that the King had not only found her music to be most fine, but also to be original — a quality that today is extremely rare.’ ( Le Mercure galant, 1707) This recording also marks the debut of Florence Malgoire and her ensemble Les Dominos on the Ricercar label.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Jacquet de la Guerre: Sonatas
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.