Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sonata IV in G major by Nicolas Chédeville

A happy Sunday! Time for some lovely music.

We started January out with a piece featuring the viol, & so I thought we would bring the month to a close with the same, though this is a “bigger sound,” with the tenor viola da gamba backed by harpsichord & joined by recorder.

The musicians are part of the ensemble Passacaglia,  which is based in Great Britain. Passacaglia is made up of Louise Bradbury, Oliver Webber, Robin Bigwood, Annabel Knight, Reiko Ichise; Bigwood is playing harpsichord here, while Knight plays recorder & Ichise the viola da gamba. Passacaglia is an active group, & I notice they have some concerts coming up in February that our friends in the UK may enjoy.

Besides this piece’s obvious musical charm, it’s also interesting because it was attributed to Vivaldi for quite some time. Nicolas Chédeville was a musette player & maker, as well as a composer—the musette is a form of the bagpipes that was used frequently in baroque music. The story of his impersonating Vivaldi runs as follows (from Wikipedia):

In 1737 he made a secret agreement with Jean-Noël Marchand to publish a collection of his own compositions as Antonio Vivaldi's op. 13, entitled Il pastor fido. Chédeville supplied the money and received the profits, all of which was attested to in a notarial act by Marchand in 1749. This may have been an attempt to give his instrument, the musette, the endorsement of a great composer which it lacked.
It seems that Monsieur Chédeville was not only a composer of delightful music, but a man with a healthy sense of humor!

Hope you enjoy this lovely piece, which is so beautifully rendered.

Image links to its source on


  1. Nice! I'll have to drag out my soprano and alto recorders and try to get back into my old form.

    1. Hi Roy: You definitely should! Recorders are beautiful instruments; I tinkered with a tenor recorder for a while myself at one point.


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