Guillemain: Capriccio 12 (Opus 18), Augusta McKay Lodge, baroque violin

In this video

Louis-Gabriel Guillemain’s remarkable Capriccio from his Opus 18.
Augusta McKay Lodge, baroque violin.
Monsieur Guillemain was born in Paris (1705) and studied in Italy with the famous Giovanni Battista Somis and Jean-Marie Leclair. He became one of the highest paid court musicians at Versailles. In 1737, he moved to Paris and became a to King Louis XV.
These caprices showcase Guillemain’s masterful combination of the French and Italian styles. Much like Leclair, he infuses the poise and grace of the French court with the wild virtuosity of the Italian style. Capriccio XII is fiendishly difficult with running double-stop thirds and tenths, fast passage-work high up on the violin’s fingerboard, and virtuosic flourishes. It entices with spell-binding characters, which contantly shift and change. These mercurial moments are sometimes ghostly and thin, sometimes boisterous and loud.
Guillemain was highly regarded by his contemporaries. “When talking of a man full of fire, genius and vivacity, we must name Mr. Guillemain, ordinaire of the King’s music, who is perhaps the fastest and most extraordinary violinist that can be heard; his hand sparkles, and there are no difficulties that can stop him, and he can create difficult, masterful works that often embarrass his rivals. This famous artist is one of the great masters, and it is agreed that his compositions are filled with the most pointed beauty.” – Louis-Claude Daquin (translated by McKay Lodge)
With the generous technical and musical assistance and support from Voices of Music, I recorded this piece at home in my apartment due to COVID-19 lockdown. It is recorded in 4k on a Samsung phone. It has been an incredible and fun way to continue making music and share our passion with you, our beloved audience! –AML

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