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  Alia Vox -
  AVSA9851 (2 discs)
  Marais: Suite d'un Goût Etranger - Savall
  Marin Marais: Suite d'un Goût Etranger

Pierre Hantaï (clavecin)
Xavier Díaz-Latorre, Rolf Lislevand (théorbes et guitares)
Philippe Pierlot (viole de gambe basse)
Andrew Lawrence-King (harpe double)
Pedro Estevan (percussion)
Jordi Savall (viole de gambe basse)
Track listing:
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 3

Reviews: 4 show all

Review by Jakob July 20, 2007 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This SACD-Set is grandious. Jordi Savall and friends give us such pleasure that I cannot imagine a better recorded album.
The reason for the extremly touching result of the SACD is first of all the music: The genius of Marin Marais' gamba music lies in his omnipresent, but not too aparent melancholity. In every piece, be it as virtuous or quick as possible, there is a touch of bittersweet feeling, making gooseflesh to the listener. I will not pick out several pieces because all are a treat for themselves. In addition, Savall plays so extremly delicate that it is a complete delight. His musicality, sense for style and, of course, virtuosity is beyond every criticism. His music making is divine, not from our world. His combatants, Marc Hantai, Rolf Lislevand, Xavier Díaz-Latorre, Philippe Pierlot and of course Pedro Estevan, are the best accompanist possible.
But also the technical side of this album is so great, so perfect, so splendid that there is no way around this SACD. Manuel Mohino, one of Savalls prefered sound technicans, has created an warm, gorgeous and dazzling sonic stage, with Jordi in the centre and his co-musicians around him. Recorded propably with DPA microphones (as the most of Savalls CDs), you can hear everything. Everything means, that you hear the noises of the fingers, page-turning, breath etc. and this gives the sound such an vibrancy that you feel almost like in St Michel en Thierache, France, where the recording sessions took place in August and September 2006. And this in already in stereo! In multichannel this is again better (of course). There you REALLY are in the french church.
So I hope that every music lover or audiophile will buy this SACD Set soon!!!
PS: I guess to hear the album after a long and exhausting, or frustrating day. You'll see, this album whith is the best consolation you can imagine.

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Review by JJ June 1, 2007 (4 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
C’est à l’âge de 17 ans, alors qu’il faisait son apprentissage du violoncelle, que Jordi Savall découvrit Marin Marais et la Viole. Des années plus tard, en 1977, il gravait, pour le label Astrée une première sélection de 12 pièces pour la viole tirée de la Suite d’un goût Etranger du IV livre. Et aujourd’hui, pour célébrer le 350ème anniversaire de la naissance de Marin Marais (1656-1728), soit trois décennies plus tard, le plus célèbre violiste de notre temps parachève le grand œuvre du compositeur français en enregistrant l’intégralité des 33 pièces. Datant de 1717, l’œuvre était faite, selon Marais lui-même : « Pour satisfaire aux différents goûts du public sur la viole ». Ajoutant : « J’ai jugé à propos de diviser ce quatrième Livre en trois parties et d’en diversifier les pièces, afin que chacun y puisse trouver ce qui lui conviendra le mieux ». Jordi Savall répond parfaitement à ces propos en diversifiant les accompagnements autour de son instrument. Avec des d’artistes de tout premier plan comme notamment le claveciniste Pierre Hantaï, Rolf Lisveland au Théorbe ou encore Andrew Lawrence-King à la Harpe, il retrouve son inspiration d’alors pour la sublimer en un élan musical à la fois passionné et rigoureux. La sobriété de l’accompagnement porte la viole, la soutient, pour lui permettre d’offrir, avec le plus de vie possible, des nuances profondes et souveraines. Trente ans après, la sagesse a pris place aux côtés de la perfection. Savall retrouve ainsi l’essence d’une œuvre, celle d’un instrument, d’un compositeur, qu’on louait jadis en ces termes : « On peut dire que Marais a porté la viole à son plus haut degré de perfection, et qu’il est le premier qui en a fait connaître toute l’étendue et toute la beauté par le grand nombre d’excellentes pièces qu’il a composées sur cet instrument, et par la manière admirable dont il les exécutait ». Voici donc un album de deux Super Audio CD incontournables à la prise de son exemplaire.

Jean-Jacques Millo

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Review by Beagle February 19, 2009 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
“It’s only nowadays that everyone is so smart and no one doubts the genius and viability of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century music. But in those days, let’s be frank, the picture was completely different, that music was hidden beneath seven seals. Even Rimsky-Korsakov felt that music began with Mozart, and Haydn was dubious; Bach was considered a boring composer. What, then, of the pre-Bach Period?” – Shostakovich, ca 1972.

“It was around 1959 that I discovered the existence of Marin Marais and his Pieces for the Viol. I was seventeen and had been studying the cello for just over two years. Being very inquisitive by nature, I was already searching for unknown works, music that nobody played anymore. In Barcelona, in the ‘Casa Beethoven' music shop, I was intrigued to find a Suite in D minor, arranged for the cello by Christian Döbereiner…. I remember being instantly charmed by the highly original character of the various pieces it contained….
”I must stress the importance of my meeting Mme. Geneviève Thibault, Contess of Chambure, in 1972 and her generous decision … to loan me one of the bass viols in her private collection. Suddenly, all the nuances on which I had been working so diligently, such as ‘bowing on the air’ and ‘letting the sound fade away’ became clear to me as the suppleness and sensitivity of that seven-string bass viol, built by an anonymous 17th century lutenist, made the thousand nuances that Marais’s music required both natural and possible.” – Saval, 2007.

“In order to satisfy the various tastes of the public for the viol, I have decided to divide this fourth Book into three parts and so diversify its pieces that everybody shall find here something to his liking…. In the absence of two viols, these pieces may be played on treble violins, or treble viols, and even on two transverse flutes. Alternatively the instruments may even be mixed, for example the transverse flute with the violin or treble viol, resulting in a very pleasing chamber concert.” – Marais, 1717.

“It is fair to say that Marais raised the viol to its highest degree of perfection….” – Titon du Tillet, 1732.

To call the Suitte d'un goût étranger ‘diverse’ is a droll understatement. Our latter-day ignorance can cause early music to sound “all alike”, but Marais does not repeat himself – not even in the reprises. Beneath their frock-coat and periwig, these works are indeed a bit unhinged. The eccentric twentieth-century author of ‘Dried Embryos for piano’ and ‘Flaccid true preludes for a dog’, Eric Satie, might wish he had penned ‘The Land-mine’, ‘The Grasshopper’, ‘The Caustic Jig’ or ‘The Asthmatic Allemande’.

In his notes for Bach: Die Kunst der Fugue - Savall, Saval tells how he listened to his inner ear, in order to match instrumentation to each section of BWV 1080. On the present disc, smaller forces are matched to mood: bass viol, guitar, theorbo, harp, harpsichord and percussion – artfully expanding Marais’ suggested combos. Saval’s viol and accompanying instruments produce a polyglot lexicon of sounds, bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies are convincingly evoked. The depth of the viol’s sound is breath-taking – a real test for your speakers. If you listen very carefully to track two, you may catch the ghost of Glenn Gould making a cameo appearance, humming.

All this subtle richness is contained in the just-right ambience of St-Michel en Thiérache church – and is miraculously captured by Sound Engineer Manuel Mohino (without the benefit of DSD, DXD or IsoMike; just excellent engineering) . In brief: a Collector’s Item.

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Works: 1  

Marin Marais - Suitte d'un Goût Etranger (Quatrieme Livre)