Details of the 8 pieces in the
Jukebox and why they are there.
A Louvet lute-back from the C. Barak collection.
- Les Bergeries (lit. The Sheepfolds ?) was composed for harpsichord by F.Couperin: anonymously arranged for Vielle. It features one of the distinctive sounds of the hurdy-gurdy: the Trompette. This rhythm effect will be discussed and explained elsewhere. It is played upon the guitar-back instrument shown in the picture on the welcome page.
- Le Carillon de Cythère (The Bells of Kythira) is also played on the guitar-back instrument and is again by F.Couperin and anonymously transcribed. It describes the sound of the peal of bells from the monasteries on the Greek island of Kythira. These monasteries were apparently built INTO the cliff sides in order to better defend themselves against pirates. The island was the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, it was for a short time a 'departement' ( Mer Egée) of France and a popular holiday destination for wealthy 18th century French aristocrats. Watteau submitted one of his finest works ' Le pèlerinage à l'îsle de Cithère' in 1717, to be found in the Louvre.
- The Cat's Tail played on the guitar-back is the famous tune used by Rameau but almost certainly not originally composed by him. This arrangement for Vielle is by the famous Musette de cour composer, Esprit-Phillipe Chédeville, older brother to Nicholas.
- Michel Corrette, 'Quoy ma voisine es-tu.', 4th Suite of Organ Noels, #3 (1753). This organ piece relates to my Christmas blog. It should be of interest in that it shows that the drone sound of the vielle and musette was really acceptable everywhere, even in Church.
- Charles Baton, La Favorite from the 1st Suite of Op.1. This piece features two vielles playing together and is a recording made during the post Christmas practice session with C, see blog. This kind of slower sentimental piece tends not to employ the trompette: in accordance with 18th century practice.
- Charles Baton, Léveillé from the 3rd Suite of Op.1. From the same source as #5 above. This time the upper voice vielle is using its trompette to articulate the music.
- Michel Corrette The allemande from the second suite for vielle and continuo/bass. Again from the same source material, C on vielle and myself on harpsichord, the example shows the effect of vielle with harpsichord. I would like to believe that the accompaniment, in this case deliberately lightweight, enhances the effect of the vielle and allows a consciousness of the underlying drone that I think is vital.
- Joseph Bodin de Boismortier: Loure and Menuet from opus 11 #4. As promised an example of Northumbrian Smallpipes and hurdy-gurdy together and jolly difficult it has been. The NSPs required the guitar-back instrument to be tuned down to A=398 and I am not sure it liked it much. The end result isn't to bad though in my opinion. The downside of this arrangement is that one can only play pieces written in 'G' major. Still I hope that it will afford the forgiving listener some idea of the hurdy-gurdy bagpipe sound-blend.
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A video, rather hideous, of 2 songs including the second song from La Belle Vielleuse by Michel Corrette can be found here: Bushes and Briars + Tes Yeux