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Marin Marais


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Marin Marais (31 May 1656, Paris – 15 August 1728, Paris) was a pupil of Jean-Baptiste Lully and of the viol player Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe. He was hired as a musician in 1676 to the royal court of Versailles. He did quite well as court musician, and in 1679 was appointed “ordinaire de la chambre du roy pour la viole”, a title he kept until 1725.

He was a master of the viola da gamba, and the leading French composer of viol music. He wrote five books of Pièces de viole for the instrument, generally suites with basso continuo. These were quite popular in the court, and for these he was remembered in later years as he who “founded and firmly established the empire of the viol” (Hubert le Blanc, 1740). His other works include operas, Alcyone (1706) being noted for its tempest scene.

As with Sainte-Colombe, little of Marin Marais’ personal life was known after he reached adulthood. Marin Marais married a Parisian, Catherine Damicourt, on 21 September 1676. They had 19 children together.

Facsimiles of all five books of Marais’ Pièces de viole are published by Éditions J.M. Fuzeau.


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  • Schkatz

    I start to think this might be my favourite classical artist

    2 Aug 7:57pm Reply
  • Grosseteste

    Looking at the list of tags, it's clear that a kindergarten has been let loose on

    29 Jan 2013 Reply
  • bruno__________


    29 Oct 2012 Reply
  • floslow

    He has such a beautiful name

    15 Aug 2012 Reply
  • brejoce


    14 Aug 2012 Reply
  • Arahand

    Carl Friedrich Abel group:

    12 Jan 2012 Reply
  • sayfuddeen


    23 Jul 2010 Reply
  • Kneprik


    1 Jul 2010 Reply
  • goccialilla

    di ieri ma come oggi

    27 Mar 2010 Reply
  • SmikBass

    Suitte D'un Gout Etranger, For Viola Da Gamba & Continuo is absolutely amazing. I'm suprised it's not on the list of most popular tracks

    13 Oct 2009 Reply
  • deadmissbates

    Regarding "medieval": people will call themselves what they like, but for someone like Marais, only one word applies - genius.

    26 Jul 2009 Reply
  • SateinenSaa


    11 Mar 2009 Reply


    9 Mar 2009 Reply
  • k2core

    brilliant <3. Not exaclty medievel,right?

    24 Nov 2008 Reply
  • Kraller

    He's on tour right

    25 Aug 2008 Reply
  • Luuttuaja

    Neither have I heard them being called "medieval" in real life, but here at they are tagged as medieval. Other medieval stars include Blind Guardian and Ritchie Blackmore.

    29 May 2008 Reply
  • Grosseteste

    Mind you, I don't remember Gentle Giant ever being described as mediaeval.

    25 May 2008 Reply
  • FSylvestris

    What they have to do with is a confused idea of the past in which everything from ancient Sumeria to about 1950 is one big shapeless blur of helmets, thick-armed swordsmen, and no TV. So yeah, it's all, like, Medieval.

    17 Apr 2008 Reply
  • Tohelle

    I agree with the big head' below (not to be confused with veal head above. And these recent medieval groups are called goths, which, truly, have very little to do with either medievals or baroque! In fact, what do they have to do with? Does any one understand me?

    2 Mar 2008 Reply
  • Luuttuaja

    Ironically, Marais is actually closer to medieval music than those prog rock / black metal / new age artists that usually are tagged as medieval: Gentle Giant, Satyricon, Adiemus etc.

    24 Sep 2007 Reply
  • All 28 shouts

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