Pièces de Viole, Troisième Livre (1711)

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I was first exposed to the music of Marin Marais while participating in a Doctoral String Literature course at the University of Maryland. I fell in love with both the instrument and the music of Marais. It was fresh, new, free yet elegant and refined. What I enjoyed most ... the artistic freedom similar to how a Jazz combo might interact, the almost limitless possibilities of elaboration and ornamentation, and the rich colorful harmonies ... were all staples of the French Baroque tradition. The style, inflection, and nuance from Lute and Vocal traditions can be sensed throughout the instrumental music of French composers. I remember discovering this music and receiving such pleasure and satisfaction from performing just a small part of this suite. It was not long after that I had the idea of a new edition from which the modem violist could read. My dissertation project is to produce, edit, and present a new performance edition of the Pieces de Viole Book Three for the viola da braccio and continuo in a three part recital series. I believe that this project will open up new possibilities of expression for me and hopefully for modem violists everywhere. I also hope that this project will serve as a significant contribution to the small collection of Baroque literature available to the solo violist. Despite the many challenges I faced I most encouraged in undertaking this project for the modern viola after reading a message from the composer. "It is appropriate once again to advise the public that most of the pieces that constitute the third book can be played on several other instruments, such as the organ, the harpsichord, the violin, the treble viol, the theorbo, the guitar, the flute, the recorder, and the oboe. It will be a question only of knowing how to choose the right pieces for each of these instruments." Marin Marais



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