Two brings together the nationally renowned talents of Marais Project founding members, Jennifer Eriksson, viola da gamba, and Tommie Andersson, gallichon, theorbo and baroque guitar, in a seldom heard way. Each plays alternate brackets of solos on their respective instruments before embarking on a joint performance of a splendid suite by Marin Marais.
Guest artist, Susie Bishop voice, joins them for a gorgeous encore. The performers wanted to create the feel of a live performance in the way the music flows and the performers interact.
“The theorbo and the baroque guitar have a wonderful solo repertoire spanning hundreds of years” Jenny Eriksson commented, “Less so the gallichon, but Tommie arranged several pieces for this recording including a truly lovely Mozart adagio originally composer for the glass harmonica.” Tommie would like to dedicate his recording of Mozart's Adagio to the memory of recently deceased Swedish soprano, Eva Nässén.
The viola da gamba is also endowed with a rich treasure of solo works. For the first time in her career, Eriksson has performed and now recorded some of her favourite solo pieces, including the world premiere of a work written for her by Australian composer, Paul Cutlan. “Paul and I have known each other for many years and I deeply respect his musicianship. Sarabande is an arrangement of a movement of an earlier suite he wrote for viola da gamba and harpsichord. It is a privilege to bring this music to life for the first time.”
As might be expected, pride of place goes to the music of that giant of the viola da gamba, Marin Marais. “We have explored so many of his suites over the years and there is always a sense of achievement in committing another of the great man’s works to record,” says Eriksson. “Tommie and I know each other so well, and know the music so well, that it just flows from us!"
Jenny Eriksson completed her initial musical studies at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music studying music education and cello with Barbara Woolley. She subsequently studied the viola da gamba with Jaap ter Linden at the Rotterdam Conservatorium for three years where she completed post-graduate studies in baroque music.
Tommie Andersson was born in Sweden and has been based in Sydney since 1984. He is regarded as Australia's leading specialist in lutes and early guitars.
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.
“The disc is neatly programmed as an alternating set of solos for each player. Andersson begins with Handel’s Sonata for a Musical Clock arranged for the gallichon (a bass lute), but he also plays a guitar suite by Losy von Losinthal and returns to the gallichon with an arrangement of Mozart’s Adagio for glass harmonica. These are all played with great sensitivity (the Mozart is particularly successful, I think). Eriksson’s performance ... is excellent, with a delightfully natural sense of phrasing throughout. The grand finale is a duo performance of a Marin Marais suite in A Major. Splendidly performed and well-programmed, any early-music fan will want this release for certain.” ★★★½Read full review
— Paul Ballam-Cross, Limelight
“The highlight of Two is surely the Suite in A major, selections from Book II and IV for viola da gamba and continuo by the master of the gamba, Marin Marais, comprising 7 movements, most of them in dance form. Finally, ‘two’ become three as Susie Bishop joins in an exquisite rendition of a plaintive, anonymously written love song, published 1703, J’avois crû uq’en vous ayment. The contrasting order of the pieces is engaging, alternating the short, bright, punctuated sounds of the plucked instruments with the deep, sonorous bowed tones of the viola da gamba. Simple ornamentation of the era provides interest while double stops weave occasional harmonic textures. Two introduces us to engaging repertoire by important composers of a different time and place. The clever sonic and stylistic pairing of two instruments which are equals yet opposites is a treat.”Read full review
— Shamistha de Soysa, SoundsLikeSydney
“It is a pleasure to hear solo performances from Eriksson and Andersson, most often heard in ensembles such as the Marais Project, as well as the combined forces for the Marais and the final piece. The works selected leave the listener eager to hear more from these performers, composers and instruments.”Read full review
— Margaret Steinberger, classikON
“Cutlan wrote his 2014 Spinning Forth suite in four movements for gamba and harpsichord, one of the commissioners being Eriksson. Its third movement, Slow and Sustained – quasi Sarabande, has been rewritten as plain Sarabande. This is one of the recording’s longer tracks – the 2nd most substantial, in fact – and I’m not sure how much rewriting has taken place. ... It’s a stately enough progress, very much in keeping with the other gamba content offered here, with the added charm of discordant intervals. ... Eriksson’s account is full-bodied and sharply etched. When it comes to the Marais compendium, the listener is invited into a world of some gravity; at least, at the start with a Prelude of intense grace and eloquence. ... A sarabande is treated with high distinction, Eriksson’s melody-shaping a pleasure to experience for its supple breadth. But both players treat this brevity with respect and a keen eye for its shape. Most of the gigues I’ve heard from Marais suites come across as fairly sober affairs, but this one is more buoyant and perky (at moments) than you’d expect.”Read full review
— Clive O'Connell, O'Connell the Music
“A delicately counterpointed dialogue between The Marais Project’s two mainstays puts a long-standing musical partnership front and centre. ... there is undoubted pleasure in listening to two such long-standing collaborators play into each other’s spaces so comfortably. That itself deserves repeated listening.”Read full review
— John Weretka, Music Trust e-zine Loud Mouth
“Two, featuring viola da gambist Jennifer Eriksson and lutenist Tommie Andersson, was originally planned as a concert for the Marais Project’s 2020 season ... the highlight of the album is Eriksson and Andersson’s arrangement of a suite cannibalised from two works by Marais.”Read full review
— Steve Moffatt, The Daily Telegraph
- Allegro, HWV 598
- Air, HWV 604
- Minuet, HWV 603
- Jig, HWV 599
- Allemande variation
- Spinning forth Sarabande Paul Cutlan
- Adagio für Glasharmonika, KV 356 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Air en Vaudeville, Mesme Air double
- Menuet I, Menuet II
- Branle de Village
- J'avois crû qu'en vous aymant (Anonymous)
Sonata for a Musical Clock George Frideric Handel
Suite in D minor for viola da gamba Jacques Lambert du Buisson
Pieces for guitar Johann Anton Losy von Losinthal
Sonata in G Major for viola da gamba Carl Friedrich Abel
Suite in A Major Marin Marais
Marin Marais (1656-1728) was a French composer and viol player. He studied composition with Jean-Baptiste Lully, often conducting his operas, and with master of the bass viol Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe for six months. In 1676 he was hired as a musician to the royal court of Versailles and was moderately successful there, being appointed in 1679 as ordinaire de la chambre du roy pour la viole, a title he kept until 1725.
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos. Handel's music was well known to such later composers as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
Paul Cutlan's work as a multi-instrumentalist and composer is informed by many styles, including contemporary classical music, world music and jazz. His work as a composer is an increasingly significant extension of his main work as a performer and improviser.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.
Where to buy
Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.
- List price
- $15.00 AUD
- Release date
- April 2021
- © 2021 The Marais Project
- ℗ 2021 Move Records
- Early music
- Catalogue number
- MCD 617
- EAN 9314574061727