Good morning, Marais

This morning, I was at home practising for my upcoming recital with Joëlle Morton and Scaramella in Toronto (about which I am extremely excited). The winter sun was pouring through the window, I’d eaten about 14 stroopwafels, and Les voix humaines was feeling good.

So on the spot I decided to make a sneaky little one-take recording of this piece, which in Toronto will be pitted against Forqueray’s La Du Vaucel in a kind of Angel vs. Devil competition, which is actually more about pointing out the often ignored similarities between the two composers than it is about stylistic polarisation.

Les voix humaines is one of those all-time greatest hits of Marais, and I love it. It has this really mysterious rhythmic identity, starting with a half bar like it’s a gavotte but it’s got an ebb and flow to it that’s almost like a pavan. And both the B and C sections start with a weird, dotted, hooked half-bar pickup thing! Just what exactly are these voices saying?

It’s so much fun!

There’s a bit of traffic noise and chair squeaking and rather over-expressive sniffing on my part, for which I sincerely apologise. If you’re anywhere near Toronto, come along and hear the polished and perfected final product on February 18th!

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