Representing a landmark in the maturity of early music performance in Australia, The Marais Project presents "Love Reconciled", a recording to play often and savor deeply.
Classical musicians can be notoriously focused and single-minded. Even given this trait, the efforts of Marais Project Director, viola da gambist Jennifer Eriksson in bringing her favourite composer, Marin Marais (1656-1728) before the Australian musical public, is extraordinary. In 2000, completely un-funded, she set herself the task of performing all of Marais' 600 works, collected in five books titled Pièces de viole. Known as the "Paganni of the viola da gamba" (or bass viol), Marais still represents the pinnacle of viol playing. Ten years on with several ABC Classic FM studio recordings and Sunday Live Broadcasts under its collective belt, a thriving annual subscription series and dozens of concerts to its credit, Eriksson's ensemble is further cementing its position as Australia's most dynamic exponents of the French viola da gamba repertoire with the release of its second CD, Love Reconciled on the MOVE label.
Produced by the award-winner Llew Kiek, Love Reconciled features some of Australia's leading early musicians: lutenist Tommie Andersson, gambists Daniel Yeadon and Catherine Upex, violinist Fiona Ziegler, up and coming harpsichordist Chris Berensen, soprano Belinda Montgomery and of course Eriksson herself. Reflecting Jennifer's meticulous approach to programming, the CD's running order is carefully constructed to present the little heard solo and duo viola da gamba repertoire creatively, the "meat" of the viol solo suites being sandwiched between a delightful trio sonata by Morel and a witty, similarly scored short ballet by Sydney composer Stephen Yates on French baroque themes.
Virtually every work on the CD represents an first Australian commercial recording from the monumental Tombeau de Mr. Meliton, the lament Marais wrote for two bass viols upon the death of his friend Meliton, to the Chaconne by Jacques Morel, Marais' suite for two viola da gambas in d minor and, of course, Yates' ballet music. Soprano Belinda Montgomery rounds off the CD with performances of two of Bouteiller's rarely heard motets for two viola da gambas and continuo, in the process contributing another Australian "first".
If you love interesting, out of the way music and relaxed, concert settings you will love The Marais Project! Jennifer Eriksson originally founded the group in 2000 to perform the complete works of Marin Marais an 18th century genius of my instrument, the viola da gamba. Over the years our repertoire has greatly expanded and now includes a huge range of wonderful vocal and instrumental music for the viola da gamba from the 1300s to the present day. They also commission and arrange new music for the ensemble.
“For Viol players and Marais enthusiasts, Tombeau de Mr Meliton, reeks of the satisfying richness of two gambas, and the resonance and sonsistency of the theorbo...The Move Package is visually appealing and, the part that matters most, the music selection and listening quality, deserve top marks”
— Neville Olliffe, Early Music News
- Chaconne en trio Jacques Morel
- Tantum ergo, motet for voice, two viola da gambas and continuo Pierre Bouteiller
- Rondeau louré
- Allemande La Marianne
- La Georgienne la Maupertuy
- Tombeau de Mr Meliton for two viola da mambas, Pièces de violes, 1er livre Marin Marais
- O salutaris hostia, motet for voice, two viola da gambas and continuo Pierre Bouteiller
- Love Reconciled or The Rewards of Evil - A Ballet Vivant in One Act Stephen Yates
Suite in D minor for two viola da mambas, Pièces de violes, 1er livre Marin Marais
Suite in G minor, Pièces de viole, 5è livre Marin Marais
- Jennifer Eriksson · viola da gamba
- Belinda Montgomery · soprano · tracks 9 and 16
- Fiona Ziegler · baroque violin · tracks 1 and 17
- Daniel Yeadon · viola da gamba · tracks 2—9, 15 and 16
- Catherine Upex · viola da gamba · tracks 1, 10—14 and 17
- Tommie Andersson · therobo
- Chris Berensen · harpsichord · all except tracks 9, 15 and 16
- The Marais Project