CLASSICAL GUITAR

What kind of music did Louis XIV like?

Louis and His Family Portrayed as Roman Gods by Jean Nocret
Louis and His Family Portrayed as Roman Gods by Jean Nocret

Robert de Visée’s music remains among some of the best examples of French Baroque guitar music to this day.

Visée's place and date of birth are unknown. What is known, however, is that he was a lutenist, guitarist, viol player, singer, and composer. The first mention of Visée is from 1680, stating his appointment as a chamber musician to Louis XIV, in which capacity he often performed at court.

He notably kept Louis XIV company in his bedroom, playing him to sleep, since the king had had quite the trouble falling asleep in silence.

Watch the vintage recording of Visée's suite performed by Andrés Segovia:

Note that contemporary guitar performances of Visée’s music all differ from ‘authentic’ passages played on the Baroque five-course guitar.

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