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Jean-Marie Leclair

Lucie Skeaping considers the evidence concerning the inexplicable murder in October 1764 of Jean-Marie Leclair, one of the foremost French violinists and composers of his day.

Jean Marie Leclair's story is one of the most mysterious of the French baroque. He began life as a lacemaker before finding a career as a dancer, and eventually as a virtuoso violinist and composer, he became so celebrated that he was known as, "The French Corelli". He quickly came to the attention of the King and his compositions became justifiably popular. Then, in 1758 his story takes a sudden twist. Leclair's marriage broke up and he chose to live in a hovel, in a dangerous area of Paris just east of the city walls. Why, nobody knows. He didn't need to live in such circumstances. One morning, his gardener, suspicious that Leclair's garden gate had been left open, ventured within and discovered the famous Leclair lying murdered in a pool of blood in the vestibule of his house. He had been stabbed three times. The Parisian police under the auspices of the celeberated French Lieutenant General of Police, Antoine de Sartine, held a thorough investigation. So what did happen to Leclair? Had his jealous nephew, Francois, killed him in a fit of pique. Could it have been his impoverished wife, Louise? Did the gardener, Paysant, do it or might it have been a psychopathic stranger? Lucie Skeaping outlines the grisly story with actors taking the parts of the various supsects in the case. The whole programme is illustrated with a selection from some of Leclair's marvellous music.

Producer: Chris Wines


Sonata 6 in B minor: “Le Tombeau”
Mvts 1 &2
Les Folies Francoises/Patrick Cohen-Akenine
Alpha 083
Tracks: 9-10

Sonata for two violins Op 3/3
Chiara Banchini/John Holloway
ERATO 2292 45013-2
Track: 7

“Viens Amour, quitte Cithere”
Act 5 Scene 2 “Scylla et Glaucos”
Catherien Dubosc (Sicilienne)
Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists/
John Eliot Gardiner
CD 3 Track 26

Concerto in A minor Opus7/5 – mvt 1 Vivace
Simon Standage/Colleium Musicum 90
Track: 4

Sonata in F Opus 4/4 – iv Presto
Musica Alta Ripa
WDR GL 3428
Track: 17

Sonata in G minor Op 13 No 3 – iii. Aria
London Baroque
Harmonia Mundi 901646
Track 23

Deuxieme recreation de musique d’une Execution Facile in G minor op 8 – Menuets 1 et 1/Badinage
Les Nieces de Rameau
Track: 12 & 13

Concerto in D Major Op7/2 – mvt 2 Adagio
Simon Standage/Colleium Musicum 90
Track: 2

Sonata 6 in B minor: “Le Tombeau”
Mvt: (3) & 4
Les Folies Francoises/Patrick Cohen-Akenine
Alpha 083
Tracks: (11) & 12

1 hour

Last on

Sat 12 Sep 2009 13:00