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Telemann Comes to Town

Donald Macleod explores the second phase of the Concert Spirituel, marked by the administration of the Academie Royale de Musique.

Today's programme looks at the second phase of the Concert Spirituel, marked by the administration of the Académie Royale de Musique (that is, the Paris Opera), who rescued the whole enterprise from collapse following the financial calamities suffered by the first directors. The concerts' venue continued to be the Salle des Cent Suisses of the Tuileries Palace, which until its destruction in 1871 stood next to the Louvre. The hall was cavernous, which made it more suitable for some musical instruments than others. One that came to be favoured was the new-style Italian violin, whose piercing tone carried far better in that enormous space than that of the old-fashioned viola da gamba. This promoted the growth of a new school of French violin virtuosos, foremost amongst them Jean-Marie Leclair, who made dozens of appearances at the Concert Spirituel, often in concertos of his own composition. (He was to meet a violent end in 1764 - stabbed in the back, perhaps in some family dispute.) A prominent musical visitor to Paris in 1738 was the composer Telemann, who attended performances at the Concert Spirituel of his grand motet Deus judicium tuum, which, he recorded in his diary, "was performed twice in three days by almost 100 select musicians". He also wrote a series of 'Paris Quartets' in the city, several of which were performed at the Concert Spirituel in the 1740s. Another fascinating figure is Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, who took the unconventional step of selling his compositions direct to the public rather than going the traditional route and finding himself a wealthy patron - as a result of which he became extremely wealthy himself. Two names not so familiar nowadays are Michel Pignolet de Montéclair and Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville, who after Lalande was the second most frequently performed composer in the 65 years of the series.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Georg Philipp Telemann

    Quartet no. 8 in A minor (Paris quartet) for flute, violin, gamba & continuo [1738] no.2

    Performer: Barthold KUIJKEN - Flute Performer: Gustav LEONHARDT - Director Performer: Sigiswald KUIJKEN - Viola da gamba Performer: Wieland KUIJKEN - Viola da gamba

    • SONY.
    • S3K-63115.
  • Jean-Marie Leclair - Concerto in C major Op.7`3 for violin [or fl/ob] and string orchestra

    Performer: Daniel CUILLER - Violin Performer: Stradivaria Ensemble

  • Michel Pignolet de Montéclair

    Jepthe - tragedie lyrique

    Performer: Jacques BONA - Bass (Jepthah) Performer: Nicolas RIVENQ - Baritone (Phineas) Performer: William CHRISTIE - Director Performer: Les ARTS FLORISSANTS ORCHESTRA

    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • HMC-901424.25.
  • Georg Philipp Telemann

    Deus, judicium tuum (Psalm 72) - grand motet for soloists, choir and instrumental ensembl

    Conductor: Hermann MAX Performer: Barbara SCHLICK - Soprano Performer: Silke WEISHEIT - Contralto Performer: Stephen VARCOE - Bass Performer: Das KLEINE KONZERT Performer: Rheinische Kantorei

    • Capriccio.
    • 10 315.
  • Jacques Aubert

    Concerto Op.26`4 (Le Carillon) for 4 violins, cello and continuo

    Performer: Collegium Musicum 90 Performer: Simon STANDAGE - Violin Performer: Simon STANDAGE - Director

    • CHANDOS.
    • CHAN 05-77.
  • Joseph Bodin de Boismortier

    Exaudiat te Dominus (Psalm 19) - motet for chorus

    Performer: Herve NIQUET - Director Performer: Veronique GENS - Soprano Performer: Concert Spirituel Orchestra

    • Adda.
    • 581255.
  • Jean-Joseph de Mondonville

    Venite exultemus - motet

    Conductor: Edward HIGGINBOTTOM Performer: Charles DANIELS - Tenor Performer: Choir Of New College, Oxford Performer: London Baroque

    • Helios.
    • CDH55038.

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