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Between 1680 and 1728, Marin Marais brought the pièce de  viole to the peak of perfection. An ‘unremitting’ teacher, he was also the publisher of his own music and invented special signs to notate certain ornaments for the viol. In the course of his research at the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Italian gambist Vittorio Ghielmi studied these manuscript codes, in the hand of Marais himself or his direct students. ‘This led me to a new vision of French Baroque music, which applies not only to the viola da gamba, but also to vocal and orchestral music. These signs reveal the technique of playing in action. Contrary to the static descriptions of the treatises of the time, one has the impression of seeing didactic “videos”.’ This album, entirely devoted to the music of Marais, alternates récits for solo viola with orchestral pieces, all of them reinterpreted in the light of the new discovery of Monsieur Marais’s ‘codes’. In addition to Parisian viols of the time, Vittorio Ghielmi owns an instrument by the famous luthier Michel Colichon (a friend of Marais’s teacher Sainte-Colombe), made in Paris in 1688. Only two of the five surviving viols by Colichon are still in playable condition.