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Les Folies d'Espagne††††
- Instrumentation: Cor Anglais and Continuo
- Material: basso continuo part included with each score
- Item #:
- Collection: Les Tableaux Galants
- Number of pages: 64pp
- Publication date: 1997
- Co-authors: Edited by Jennifer Paull
- Misc. Information: A series of Baroque French Suites edited and ornamented by Jennifer Paull
AI TG 006 Les Tableaux Galants Ö III. Les Folies d'Espagne
††††for Cor Anglais
†††††Marin Marais, ed. Jennifer Paull
This suite is taken from "Couplets de Folies" in the second "Livre des pi∂ces de viole," Paris 1701.
Marin Marais (1656-1728) was the central figure in the French school of the bass viol performer-composers that flourished in Paris during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. A pupil of Sainte-Colombe, he is said to have surpassed his celebrated master. Although most of his oeuvre was intended in the first instance for his own instrument, Marais took great pains to explain that he had endeavored to make his music playable on other instruments, including "an oboe."
At the time, it was usual for the "Bande des Hautbois" to play different members of the oboe family together. When playing solo, as in this piece, the oboist chose the instrument best suited to its demands. He was entirely free, according to Marais' texts, to transpose the themes and adapt his ornamentation and performance to suit his chosen instrument. The adaptation of these variations for Cor Anglais and bass continuo and their titles are entirely my own. I was inspired by the amazing palette of colours in this ever-changing kaleidoscope which is the "Folies d'Espagne." This style of encapsulating "tableaux" and thus adding a theatrical dimension to the music was very popular at the time and was known as the "FÍtes galantes."
To quote M. De l'Affilard in his Principes (1705) on ornamentation, "one learns better by example than by any written dissertation." Christine Sartoretti and I have recorded this, our version of the "Folies d'Espagne," on the Amoris Recording label, AR 1001. We trust that our nuances of inŕgalitŕ and ornamentation will be more easily followed by the listener than by lengthy, technical explanation on this page.
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