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Court and Concert, notes to a program

Prude patroness of Clérambault and host of private concerts where Francois Couperin performed his royal concerts.

Prude patroness of Clérambault and host of private concerts where Francois Couperin performed his royal concerts.

Imagine a concert in the music room of Madame de Maintenon at Versailles. Seated near the King and in the company of ten or fifteen favorites at court, you listen to François Couperin perform at the harpsichord. You enjoy the refined pleasure of a concert royal, a flute sonata of Jacques-Martin Hotteterre, a cantata by Louis-Nicolas Clérambault. Meticulously composed, each phrase is colored with the right chord and just the right turn of melody. The hours spent are luxurious. #

Michel Blavet who lived with one creative foot in court and the other in the new public concert world.

Michel Blavet who lived with one creative foot in court and the other in the new public concert world.

Now imagine a concert in the home of the flautist Michel Blavet. Blavet has entertained and performed with the visiting German composer Georg Philipp Telemann, from whom the Frenchman receives a volume of six quartets inspired by the fine musicians Telemann met and admired in Paris. The audience in Blavet’s home, if any at all, consists of connoisseurs of the art. This music is often surprising and delights the mind as we hear a suite in which a French dance is followed by an Italian allegro and then leads to a jauntily exotic Polish dance. Each instrument shines with its unique color and character while an underlying counterpoint confronts the intellect. The hours are engaging and challenging. #

New spaces for new music in Paris.

New spaces for new music in Paris.

concertgoers has purchased tickets expecting to be astounded by a rush of notes, unidentifiable sounds all unleashed by bow, breath, or finger. The performer on violin, flute, cello or harpsichord, naturally handsome, recognizes himself a star and not a servant or mere craftsman. Expect the very last musical word in Paris, or from Rome, or Venice, and later in the eighteenth century, Mannheim and Vienna. The hours are novel and thrilling. #

Mondonville by Quentin de la Tour (1747)

Mondonville by Quentin de la Tour (1747), a man of the concert stage exploring new sounds for the violin and confounding his audience with delights from his bow.

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Comments

  1. This looks so delicious, Andy! I so wish I could be there. I know it will be fabuloso.

  2. Thanks for sharing the background descriptions and music clips! I’m not going to make it to the concert this time here in Pittsburgh, but I really appreciate learning about Four Nations!

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