Imagine picking all the best bits of your favourite pop, rock, hip-hop and jazz stars and combining them into one fantastical package, a bit like your fantasy football team. How great would that be?
Each brings their own strengths to the party and create a world-beating combination.
The French players (Leclair, Lully, Rameau, Couperin) sweep around the wings, running rings around the opposition with their fancy foot-work. Their music is just the same: flamboyantly ornamented melodic lines for violins, oboes, and other wind instruments, bringing a sublime grace to the often-complex dance rhythms beneath. The best French composers pull off the pirouette with elegance and plenty of swagger.
The German members of the team (Bach, Telemann, Buxtehude and Biber) are the play-makers, providing the all-important infrastructure. They pounce on the smallest opportunity, passing musical themes around in a wonderful conversation, refining and polishing their moves as they go.
The Italians, just like the concerto, bring the virtuosic flare to the party, stoking the dramatic fires of the team and bringing everything to life.
Muffat is their captain and player/coach. Having traveled and trained all across Europe, he knows his player’s strengths and weaknesses inside out, and marshals his team from the midfield, picking just the right time for each star to shine.
As a composer, Muffat holds a special position in music history as one of the first to combine the main European styles. Much of his music is now lost, but his five sonatas entitled Armonico Tributo, which adopt this inclusive approach (later referred to as ‘les goûts réunis’ or ‘the reunited tastes’), survive, and offer a glimpse into a style that the likes of Couperin, Bach, Telemann and others would later continue to develop.
You can hear the great masters of Europe (Handel, Bach, Purcell, Leclair and Muffat) on Friday 8th March at the Wigmore Hall Find out more>>>