Guitar Music from seventeenth-century France

Francesco Corbetta, Robert de Visée, Henri Grénerin, Rémy Médard, Marin Marais, André Campra, Antoine Carré, Jean-Baptiste Lully, François Couperin

Gordon Ferries, Baroque guitars

Delphian DCD 34011 [TT 72.14]

From its earliest beginnings, the five course Baroque guitar was associated - for better or worse - with dance music, and in his interesting notes Gordon Ferries traces the history of his often reviled instrument which threatened to replace the lute and vihuela.

Ferris researched his field under an Arts Council grant, studying 17 C manuscripts in France, with fruitful results gathered here. Several of the composers are little known (Grénerin was not to be found in New Grove!) and all are sound craftsmen.

The music is pleasant to listen to, probably best not straight through though, and would be very acceptable as background to an intimate, elegant supper - that is not meant to be a disparaging comment, just help to characterise the genre. Samples can be listened to on the Delphian website.

Clearly Ferris is an expert player, and the recording is sympathetic. Recommended for 17th C specialists and people who would like to hear extensive solo performances on this instrument, which is more often heard in early music ensembles.

© peter grahame woolf 2003

Track listing

1. Francesco Corbetta (1615-81) Prelude [1.15] Listen

[3-10] Robert de Visée (c.1650-c.1725) Suite in C major [9.57]

[11-17] Henri Grénerin (c.1668-c.1748) Suite in D major (1680*) [12.52]

[18-22] Rémy Médard (fl.17th C.) Suite in G minor [7.32]

23. Francesco Corbetta Caprice de chacone [2.41]

[24-29] Francesco Corbetta Suite in A minor [13.16]

30. Robert de Visée Masquerade [1.20]
31. Marin Marais (1656-1728) Air [1.05]
32. André Campra (1660-1744) Musete [1.38]
33. Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) Entrée d'Isis [1.25]
34. Jean-Baptiste Lully Entrée d'Apollon [2.37]
35. François Couperin (1668-1733) Sœur Monique [3.11] Listen

[36-41] Antoine Carré (fl.17th C.) Suite in G minor [11.02]

Note by Gordon Ferries:
*- - there is a real lack of biographical information about Grenerin
and his dates of birth and death are not known.
The dates given on the c.d. are the
approximate dates of his musical activities
around the French court where he was
employed as a guitarist and theorbist
in Lully's orchestra. These dates also
include the production of his two
known books of music for theorbo and guitar.