De Visée: Pieces pour la guittarre

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Composer: Robert de Visée
Artists: Krishnasol Jiménez guitar
With hardly any documents relating to his life having survived, very little is known about the French guitarist, theorbist, lutenist and composer Robert de Visée. In 1680 he was supposedly appointed to the court of Louis XIV – the so-called ‘Roi Soleil’ – where he was admired by his benefactors as well as the great musicians influential in Versailles (Lully and Couperin among them). He published three books for guitar during his lifetime, and the many contemporary manuscripts with his music written by amateurs, students and famous musicians are a sure testament to the popularity of his works.

This release is dedicated to a series of guitar pieces that almost all derive from one of his first two publications, Livre de Guittarre dédié au roi (1682) and Livre de Pièces pour la Guittarre (1686). The star of the show is undoubtedly the ‘Sabionari’ instrument used for the recording and hitherto untouched for almost 200 years: as one of only five extant Stradivari guitars, it is a magnificent example of the sort of instrument that we can expect this music to have been performed on, with its standard tuning perfectly suited to French music of this era. From the extraordinary sonority of the Suite ‘accord nouveau’, a rare example of scordatura which sees the guitar tuned a semitone lower, to the best-known D minor Suite, this instrument delights for its deeply resonant timbres and distinctive phrasing of the musical text.

00:00:00 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: I. Prelude
00:00:46 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: II. Allemande
00:03:16 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: III. Courante
00:04:49 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: IV. Sarabande
00:07:20 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: V. Gigue
00:08:59 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: VI. Bourrée
00:09:43 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: VII. Chacone
00:12:02 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: VIII. Gavotte
00:12:51 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: IX. Sarabande
00:15:32 Suite in F-Sharp Major ‘accord nouveau’: X. Menuet
00:17:33 Suite in B Minor: I. Prelude
00:18:26 Suite in B Minor: II. Allemande
00:21:21 Suite in B Minor: III. Courante
00:23:03 Suite in B Minor: IV. Sarabande
00:25:07 Suite in B Minor: V. Gigue
00:26:22 Suite in B Minor: VI. Passacaille
00:30:44 Suite in G Major: I. Prelude
00:32:00 Suite in G Major: II. Allemande
00:34:31 Suite in G Major: III. Courante
00:36:01 Suite in G Major: IV. Sarabande
00:39:27 Suite in G Major: V. Gigue
00:41:04 Suite in D Minor: I. Prelude
00:41:51 Suite in D Minor: II. Allemande
00:44:08 Suite in D Minor: III. Courante
00:45:25 Suite in D Minor: IV. Sarabande
00:47:38 Suite in D Minor: V. Gigue
00:49:06 Suite in D Minor: VI. Gavotte
00:49:54 Suite in D Minor: VII. Bourrée
00:50:36 Suite in D Minor: VIII. Menuet
00:51:37 Suite in D Minor: IX. Passacaille
00:55:49 Suite in D Minor: X. Menuet

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