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Italian elements in French music for traverso by J.M.Laclair and M.Blavet

Name: Radka Kubínová Main Subject: Traverso Research Coach: Bart van Oort Title of Research: Italian elements in French music for traverso by J.M. Leclair and M.Blavet Research Question: How did the Italian style influence French music for the traverso between 1699-1750 ́? Research Process: My research question arises while studying music by Blavet and Leclair and their contemporaries. Their music includes many Italian elements and in my research I would like to reach a deeper understanding of the stylistic mixture. For that I need to uncover the social circumstances and back ground of the life of these two composers. I have studied French contemporary sources, mostly books written by the end of 17th century and beginning of 18th century describing musical life in France and its main musical personage. The big advantage of studying the contemporary sources in their original language is the possibility of getting the whole picture of the period. Summary of Results: The end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century in France was a “golden age” for traverso marked by an intense interaction between French and Italian style. This interaction is reflected in all aspects of music: composition, forms, instruments and interpretation. The Italian style introduced many new features which were hardly accepted by a conservative society represented by aristocracy and absolutist monarch Louis XIV. Another section of the society, modern and open to anything, new was represented by very controversial and powerful person of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans who was the most important musical patron in France at that time. The best conclusion of the interaction between the two styles is “Les goûts réunïs” by François Couperin. In the preface of the book Couperin explains that the best solution is to take the best elements from each nation and put them together.

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