Parisian Quartets by Telemann
and Guillemain at the Concert Spirituel
by La Française
direction Aude Lestienne
Wednesday, July 26th, 9 pm – Church of Valloire
The quartet is generally thought to be an invention of the classical period. Yet, this new genre was already present at the end of the baroque age. Possibly inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment, it offers four equal parts: three solo parts and a basso continuo part usually played by two instruments (the cello and the harpsichord).
Between 1730 and 1756 there were six publications of quartets for traverso, violin, bass viol and basso continuo, a rather unusual instrumentation. The best known are those by Telemann, published in two stages: six of them were first published in Hamburg in 1730. Then, in 1738, Telemann, invited in Paris, published his New quartets in six suites, known as the Parisian Quartets. Highly successful, they probably inspired Boismortier as well as Jean-Baptiste Quentin or Louis-Gabriel Guillemain. The latter composed no fewer than twelve Quartet Sonatas or Conversations galantes et amusantes between 1743 and 1756. Thus was born a new genre, the quartet, which was to know a tremendous expansion during the classical and romantic periods.
If Telemann’s works are regularly performed, such is not the case with those of Guillemain, now one of the forgotten composers of the period. Yet, from 1713 onwards, he held the very prestigious position of “ordinary” musician of the King’s Chapel and Chamber. It was said that he was the fastest and most extraordinary violinist one could hear and that his works were full of beauties of the wittiest kind.
« Docere, Delectare, Movere »
“To teach, to charm, to move”
Inspired by this maxim of Cicero, the ensemble La Française seeks to transmit its knowledge of, and taste for rocaille art, a lesser-known style, sometimes controversial though fascinating.
The sensitivity, grace and fantasy inherent to this movement, which appeared at the end of the French baroque, appeal to the chamber music ensemble led by the flautist and architect Aude Lestienne. Since 2013, La Française has been exploring this period, devising both singular and challenging programmes: purely musical programmes built from forgotten works or composers, but also multidisciplinary programmes associating literature, dance or architecture, all sources of inspiration for the creation of performances that sweep the audience into the rocaille “universe”.
The ensemble regularly appears at renowned festivals: Bozar Next Generation, Festival de Sablé, Festival Midi-Minimes, Festival Jean de La Fontaine, Petites Nuits de Sceaux, Festival Valloire Baroque, Concerts d’Anacréon, Fêtes Musicales de Savoie, Sinfonia en Périgord (Jeunes Talents 2014).
La Française was selected for the 2018 residencies for young ensembles at the Cité de la Voix at Vézelay. Released in April 2018, its first CD received laudatory reviews, leading Classica magazine to elect La Française one of the ten “ensembles of tomorrow” for the renewal of French baroque music.
Pieces by Louis-Gabriel Guillemain and Georg Philip telemann
Aude Lestienne, traverso
Shiho Ono, violin
Mathias Ferré, viola da gamba
Jean-Baptiste Valfré, violoncello
Kazuya Gunji, harpsichord
This project has received the support of the CNM, of ADAMI and SPEDIDAM.