Hallifax & Jeffrey with Andrew Canepa: “Music by Couperin and Marais”

Presented by Barefoot Chamber Concerts

Barefoot Chamber Concerts (“an enterprise noted for both its quality and informality” – San Francisco Classical Voice) presents really good music in the right acoustic and without the formality of most classical music events. 

Barefoot’s last concert of the 2022-2023 season features the House Band, Hallifax & Jeffrey (viols), joined by Andrew Canepa (harpsichord) playing music by the two greatest composer/musicians at the  court of Louis XIV at Versailles: François Couperin and Marin Marais.

François Couperin, scion of a family of famous musicians, wrote extensively for the harpsichord and organ, and also published many collections of chamber music, including, at the end of his distinguished career, two amazing suites for viol with continuo. The concert will feature the second of these suites, in A major, and one of the suites for two viols alone from his “Concerts Royaux” as well as his harpsichord music. Couperin’s music is supremely elegant and inventive. Like J.S. Bach, Couperin challenges the instrumentalist beyond the normal capabilities of the instrument, seemingly uncaring of the ease of the player. 

Marin Marais’ music, in contrast, is all about the viol, and while challenging, is perfectly suited to the instrument. It is emotionally expressive and often based in the conventional dance rhythms of the time. The son of a humble shoemaker, Marais eventually became a composer and viol player who inspired a movie (“Tous les Matins du Monde”), wrote some of the first French operas, was appointed “Ordinaire de la Chambre du Roi” under Louis XIV, and wrote over 550 “pieces de viole” spread over five books published between 1686 and 1725.

Together, these two giants of the French Court’s musical scene represent the best of the chamber music inspired by Louis XIV. The lovely intimate and rich acoustic of St. Mary Magdalen Parish Hall provides the perfect setting for this concert.

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Peter Hallifax Viola da gamba
Julie Jeffrey Viola da gamba
Andrew Canepa Harpsichord