The Parisian salon was a meeting place for an international aristocracy. Noted aristocrats would stage several salon concerts for invited audiences every month. The 'character piece' was a feature of these programmes, the dedicatee of such a 'musical portrait' often being present at its first performance.
In this programme, Elizabeth Anderson guides the audience through an imaginary portrait gallery, relating choice anecdotes about some of its more colourful characters.
For example, the Marquis of Lugeac is unlikely to have heard his piece, since shortly after its composition, he became involved in a dispute over a will, which was resolved when he was shot dead in a duel.
The Marquis of Monmartel was so enamoured of funerals that on his father’s death, he had the gardens of his estate draped in black cloth, the waterways dyed black with ink, and the cortege horses fed a potion that would dye their urine black.
- Antoine Forqueray (1671-1745)
Claude Bénigne Balbastre (1727-'99)
- La Portugaise
- La Bellmont famous gambaist who played duets with Forqueray
Jacques Duphly (1715-89)
- La de Caze wife of the mad tulip collector
- La d'Héricourt
- La Monmartel ou la Brunoy the funeral fetishist
- La Felix entrepreneur who promoted the young Mozart
- Les Graces
- La de Belombre
Claude Bénigne Balbastre
- La de Drummond Captain of the Royal Scottish Regiment who assembled troups in France for Bonny Prince Charlie
- La Forqueray famous gamba player and composer
- La Suzanne the sculptor
- La Berville
- La Lugeac the dueller
The above programme is of one hour’s duration
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Musical Portraits From the Salons of Paris can be purchased through Buywell Just Classical who offer secure on-line ordering.