These attractive solo guitar arrangements of gamba and continuo works by Marin Marais are expertly performed here by guitarist Cem Duruoz. In transcribing the works for guitar, Duruoz follows Marais's suggestion in the preface to his Third Book of Pieces for Viola da Gamba that the pieces may be played on other instruments, guitar included. The results are stylish, elegant, and unexpectedly idiomatic. Duruoz plays here on a modern instrument with a thoroughly modern technique and tonal palette. This darkness of tone is far from the ates with this music, whether bowed or plucked. But perhaps because of the melancholy that underlies so much of Marais's music, I find it very effective.

Duruoz combines a knowledge of French baroque style with dramatic intensity in interpretation. The intensity is particulary apparent in the passionate, focussed reading of the "Tombeau pour Mr de Ste Colombe", Marais's homage to his teacher and the expressive core of the Suite in E minor. Duruoz gives the anguished rhetorical gestures a bold treatment through his striking use of dynamics, especiaşşy the sudden outburst toward the end of the seven-minute lament. This expressive extroversion is in evidence elsewhere on the recordsing, as in the Allemande to the Suite in A minor, stressing the inherently dramatic character of this music.

By far the most novel pieces on the recording are "Le Tableau de L'Operation de la Taille" and "Les Relevailles", which depict-I am not making this up- a gallstone operation and the patient's later recovery. This program is realized with the help of a narrator,in French, of course. As odd as the pieces are with the narrator, it is clear that Marais's music would be positively inscrutable without it, especially the bizarre effects in "Le Tableau", evoking the moment of incision and removal of the stone.

These strange pieces may not be for everyone, but most will want to hear them at least once for their entertainment value and for the insight they supply into a type of baroque music drama that is little known or heard nowadays. The rest of the program is sure to please, especially as a thoughtful modern treatment of Marais's music.

american record guide 2001

  MARIN MARAIS (Arr. Duruoz)

track 1 track 4
track 5 track 7
track 9 track 20

   Pieces De Viole-Marin Marais
(Arr. Duruoz)

Cem Duruöz


  • Suite for viol & continuo in E minor (from Book 2)
  • Suite for viol & continuo in B minor (from Book 2) Transposed to A minor
  • Le Tableau de l'opération de la taille
  • Les Relevailles, for viol & continuo (Book 5, No. 109)
  • Chaconne en Rondeau Transposed to A major
  • Marche à la Turque, for viol & continuo in D major (Book 5, No. 21) Transposed to D major
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