Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"La Forqueray"

Antoine Forqueray 1671 - 1745

Forqueray was a virtuoso gamba player, a musician in the court of Louis XIV. This was in many ways the pinnacle of French music--certainly until the early 20th century. There was a tradition amongst musicians at the time in France to name pieces after one another. This piece is called "La Couperin" after Francois Couperin, le grande:

What a great performance! We sometimes forget that the music of earlier times can be just as filled with passion as that of our own. Of course, Couperin returned the compliment with this piece called "La Forqueray":

Jean-Philippe Rameau also got into the act. Here is his "La Forqueray":

All this came to an end with the last of the clavicenistes, Jacques Duphly, who also wrote a "La Forqueray":


Kim Laskowski said...

Forqueray's music was sublime-some of it penned by his son (Forqueray had him committed to debtors prison and exiled). Philanderer and wife beater, his wife applied for and was granted legal a legal separation around 1709.
I just love his music! (Is that bad?)

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks for sharing my love of French Baroque music and that of Forqueray in particular. Composers and artists of all kinds have often had unsavory aspects to their character. I think that, while not forgiving them exactly, if they have made a great artistic contribution that might put it in perspective for us.

Kim Laskowski said...

Last year, while on tour, I visited the BNF and spent time looking at a law book from 1709 containing the court stenographers record of Madame Forqueray's testimony. Thank you for posting this blog which I am not sure how I found but, nonetheless, very worthwhile reading and listening. Have you heard the 5th Suite done by the Kuijken brothers? You must have-it's on youtube.

Bryan Townsend said...

The Bibliothèque nationale de France? Excellente! That counts as good archival research--thanks for sharing! I don't think I have heard the Kuijken's 5th Suite, so I will look for it on YouTube. Thanks again!