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Rameau - Cinquième Concert in D Minor - Mov. 1/3

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Published on Feb 15, 2009

JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU (1683 - 1764)

Pièces de Clavecin en Concert, Cinquième concert for violin, viola da gamba, and obbligato harpsichord in D Minor

1. Forqueray

Performed by Trevor Pinnock, harpsichord
Rachel Podger, violin
Jonathan Manson, viola da gamba

*The Pièces de Clavecin en Concert, published in 1741, constitute the only chamber music by Jean-Philippe Rameau and were composed in full maturity; they came after his music for solo harpsichord, and just before les Indes galantes.

They are very different from the trio sonatas in the Italian manner (such as those of Corelli), where the harpsichord is only providing the role of a continuo bass. In Rameau's works, the harpsichord is at the heart of the ensemble, playing a fully written-out obbligato part with virtuosity, with the accompaniment falling to the violin and viola da gamba. Rameau provided for differing instrumental combinations: the flute can replace the violin and a second violin can replace the viola da gamba. It is possible to compare these works with the violin sonatas of Johann Sebastian Bach, written earlier, around 1720, in which the melodic material is shared equally between the violin and harpsichord and the harpsichord part is obbligato nearly throughout.

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