Susie Napper and Margaret Little, violas da gamba

A bouquet of pieces by Marais, Couperin, Corrette, Sainte-Colombe, Rameau and Lebègue brilliantly arranged for two bass viols by Susie Napper. Virtuosity, humor and tenderness.

Margaret Little and Susie Napper played with a fire that was sometimes reminiscent of a pair of jazz saxophonists trading licks.Rob Hubbard, St-Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis, January 2006

“[A]ll manner of curious people were assembled … It was most extraordinary, and the first ever of its kind. [Two] bass viols played in this singular concert and the approval received demonstrated the pleasure of the connoisseurs in attendance.”
The Mercure Galant, Paris 1680

Folies encapsulates the humour, drama and intimacy of expression so popular in 17th-century Europe and particularly in France. Private salons offered a venue for contemporary music performances for an erudite and appreciative audience eager to hear and be seen!

This programme of creative arrangements of popular pieces stolen from the repertoire of other instruments wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow in the Baroque era! Covers of well-known pieces abounded including Bach’s many recycled movements from concerti to cantatas, an arrangement of Handel’s Messiah for a single recorder, Vivaldi’s Primavera for orchestra and chorus or Mozart operas for wind octet!

In Folies, spectacular Concerts à deux violes esgales by the mysterious Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe are mingled with original arrangements of organ and harpsichord pieces, viol solos recreated for a duo and a trio reduced for a duo by such masters as Lebègue, Couperin, Marais and Rameau.

Designed to move and amuse, this programme shows off both the brilliance and intimacy of the voice of the bass viol!

Available at Atma Classique : Folies

Audio excerpt :  La Vézinet by Jean-Philippe Rameau