Plaisirs de l’esprit, plaisirs de l’oreille

French baroque | chamber music

To us, French baroque music means intimacy, delicacy but also strength. It means elegance and bon goût, it means bass lines so melodical, they could be a music of their own. It means rich harmonies and flying, crying, laughing upper voices, it means rhythm and dance, and so much more. Our pursuit is to transport all these personalities, all these details from the score straight into peoples hearts when we interpret Marais, Couperin, Lully, Forqueray and Hotteterre, some of the finest composers of their time.


M. Marais (1656-1728)
Pièces en Trio. Suite nr. 5 (Tutti)

J. Hotteterre (1673-1763)
Première suitte de pièces à deux dessus sans basse (Duo Recorder-Violin)

M. Marais
Pièces de viole, Livre III: Prélude of Suite No.5 (Solo Viola da Gamba)

J.B. Lully (1632-1687)
Les Bourgeois Gentilhommes. Air des Espagnols (Tutti)

J.B.A. Forqueray (1672-1745)
Suite nr. 5 ‘La Sylva’ (Solo Harpsichord)

F. Couperin (1668-1733)

Les Nations. L’Espagnole (Tutti)

The 1690’s — At Home in London

London in the 1690’s is thriving with musical life. Public concerts were held at theaters, concert rooms, taverns, churches, private houses, gardens, company halls and music schools. At the same time, of course, people played music at home, as they always have done. From 1683 onward, music engraving largely replaced the much more expensive letterpress and gave way for innumerous music editions, now accesible also to the middle class. How could a musical gathering have sounded like at an ordinary home in London in this decade?

So many music editions were published for the violin, recorder, viol and harpsichord, that we may presume that these were some of the most popular instruments among amateur and professional musicians in England. And their players now had easy access to all kinds of music. Grounds, Sonatas, Chaconnes and dance music were common, and even vocal song compilations were advertised to also fit to be played by instruments. Henry Purcell was probably the most beloved composer at this time, and still for a long time after his death, but also Gottfried Finger, John Banister, John Blow et. al. were called „the most eminent masters“ in these publications.

This is The Imperfect Pearl’s take on a time in London, where art music started to become a little less exclusive to the rich, where one might have heard it at any ordinary middle class house, home to musicians.


Nicola Matteis (ca. 1650-after 1713)
No, my Cloe (Tutti)

Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Slow tune by Mr. Purcell (Solo Flute)

Gottfried Keller (ca. 1650-1704)
Trio Sonata Nr. 3 (Tutti)

Nicola Matteis
Diverse bizzarrie sopra la Vecchia Sarabanda o pur Ciaccona (Violin & bc)

From: Vinculum Societatis
Saraband (Solo Viol)

John Banister (1630-1679)
Saraband (Tutti)

From: Vinculum Societatis
Boree (Solo Viol)

John Banister (1630-1679)
Boree (Tutti)

John Banister (1630-1679)
Trumpet (Tutti)

From: Musick’s Hand-maid
Ground (Solo Harpsichord)

Mr. Baptist
Ground (Tutti)

John Blow (1649-1708
Go perjur’d man (Bass singer, flute & bc)

From: Collection of symphonies
Simphonie & Chaconne (Tutti)

James Paisible (ca. 1656-1721)
Sonata in D minor (Flute & bc)

Henry Purcell
How pleasant (Tutti)

Henry Purcell
Prelude (Solo Violin)

Henry Purcell
Chaconne (Tutti)

Gottfried Finger (ca. 1655/6-1730)
Lesson Nr 8 (Flute & Violin)

Gottfried Finger (ca. 1655/6-1730)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Favourites

Bach is a synonym for the extraordinary. The extraordinary in counterpoint, harmony and inventiveness. The extraordinary in sense and sensations, work and consistency. The extraordinary in gravity and lightness, rigorousness and freedom. He himself was a great arranger of his owns, and other composer’s music, for which we took the liberty to arrange his organ Triosonatas for our instruments. This program is a selection of some of our favorite pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, to celebrate the magnificence of the giant of music through our chamber musicians ears.


Triosonata BWV 525 (Tutti)

Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapunctus I (Solo Harpsichord)

Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapunctus VIII (Recorder, Violin, Viola da Gamba)

Triosonata BWV 529 (Tutti)

Sonata from: Himmelskönig sei willkommen BWV 182 (Tutti)

Triosonata BWV 1037 (Tutti)