The language of the French Baroque viola da gamba will sound on Sunday, 21st at 12:00 noon at Sala de Cámara in Auditorio de Tenerife. La voix de la viole will be played by the La Bellemont ensemble as part of the second season of  Festival de Música Antigua de Tenerife (Fimante) [Tenerife Early Music Festival].

The concert features music by Marin Marais and other contemporary composers of 18th century France, the time when this instrument reached its maximum splendour.

Tickets can be purchased at Auditorio de Tenerife box office from 10:00 to 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday, except holidays, on  or calling 902 317 327.

Marin Marais published five books for viola containing over five hundred pieces. In them, according to Fimante artistic director, Conrado Álvarez, “he takes the heritage of his predecessors one step further to the point of giving basse de viole a transcendental dimension as the ideal instrument to imitate the inflections of the human voice and express the feelings and passions of the soul”.

Pièces de Caractère, a musical form that was first used in France in the early 18th century, are independent compositions of varying duration and structure, their main feature being they are descriptive pieces which can depict a person, an object, a situation, or a specific mood.

La Muzette recalls, through its incessant pedal on A, the sound of bagpipes and cornamuses. With Le Labyrinth, the French composer builds a story about the journey of a character who is lost in the Versailles maze. The Tombeau pour Mr de Saint Colombe is an example of a musical form that is widely used in the French repertoire and whose goal is to describe and link the virtues of a deceased person, as well as delve into the grief of losing this individual who was relevant in the life of the composer, maestro de Marais. 

The fame attained by Couperin and the high esteem he enjoyed among contemporary musicians led to many of his pieces being transcribed for other instruments. So, Les Bergeries is a composition by Couperin for the harpsichord that Robert de Visée transcribed for the theorbo, continuing a very common practice at the time. Following the same logic, La Couperin, is the harpsichord version by Jean Baptiste Antoine Forqueray, which was originally written for viola da gamba by his father, Antoine Forqueray.

For its part, the piece closing the concert, 32 variations or couplets around the bass Folía, also known as Folies d’Espagne were composed by Marais to display all the technical and expressive resources of the viola da gamba to have it crowned, at least in France, as the queen of instruments.

After 10 years of experience, the Bellemont has attained a position in Spain as a model ensemble in French Baroque music performance. They were nominated to the prestigious ICMA awards and three consecutive nominations for best Baroque ensemble in the Gema Awards.

Bellemont was set up in 2007 following the wish of its members to achieve a very personal interpretation of the viola da gamba and basso continuo repertoire. They have published two records: one devoted to Marin Marais and Plaisir Sacré, nominated to the ICMA awards. Bellemont show their admiration for the music by François Couperin by dedicating their third record to him. Also, they are currently preparing a new project focusing on German Baroque.