Early Music Missouri opens its 2023-2024 Main Stage Series with a program of French Chamber Music. The violin/theorbo duo Musicke’s Cordes is joined by gambist Sarah Biber for French sonatas, dances and character pieces. Featured composers include Marin Marais, Antoine Forqueray, Jean-Féry Rebel and Georg Muffat. Music on the program includes Morel’s “Chaconne en trio,” Rebel’s gorgeous “Sonata sixiéme,” Muffat’s sonata for solo violin and Marais’s “Tombeau pour le Cadet Marias” and “Sonnerie de Ste. Geneviève du Mont de Paris.”
The program features a number of pieces that illustrate the uneasy musical relations between Italy and France in the 17th century. Italy’s musical culture dominated Europe through the seventeenth century and French musicians and listeners simultaneously embraced and rejected the new musical styles emanating from Italy. Nonetheless, French musicians could not ignore Italian innovations, especially the compositional innovations of Arcangelo Corelli. This concert includes music by composers like Morel and Marais whose allegiance to French musical tastes held fast alongside works by Rebel, Forqueray and Muffat that show the influence of Corelli and his new ideas about the sonata.
Early Music Missouri presents all of its Mainstage Concert at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in St. Louis, a beautiful venue with an acoustic ideally suited to such intimate music. Parking is free and the venue has reserved parking and ramps for listeners needing special access accommodations. Early Music Missouri’s 2023-2024 season is supported by a generous grant from the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission.