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The beginnings of the violin concerto in France

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Crossing borders

France's contribution to the genre of the Baroque solo concerto seems late and tentative, but it is fascinating to see how French composers managed to combine Italian robustness and French elegance in their works. Johannes Pramsohler and Ensemble Diderot take a journey to the origins of this hybrid form, presenting here the very first concertos by French composers. of this virtuosic and exciting programme.

In the first half of the 18th century, the Italian solo concerto was largely considered to be antithetical to the nature of French music, in as much as it represented the most extreme, most innovative, and most dramatic expression of the new musical rhetoric coming from Italy. 

Johannes Pramsohler also draws parallels between the new art form and French societal constructs at the time, commenting: “Outwardly, the solo concerto was the form which granted a single soloist an incredibly large amount of space. If one sees the concerto as an art form reflecting a sociocultural model, it stands in great contrast to the French absolutism that allowed the individual relatively little place. In French society, in which the area of tension between the dynamic individual and the rigid community became constantly greater, solo concertos – in which subjective expressive power and social harmony form a symbiotic relationship – have a nearly explosive potential.

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Aubert: "Le Carillon"

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Jacques Aubert

Concerto in E Minor "Le carillon", Op. 26, No. 4


Michel Corrette

Harpsichord concerto in G Major, Op. 26, No. 1

Jean-Marie Leclair

Concerto in E-flat Major



Louis-Antoine Dornel 

Sonate en Quatuor

Joseph Bodin de Boismortier 

Cello concerto in D Major, Op. 26, No. 6

Jean-Baptiste Quentin

Concerto Op. 12, No.1 in A Major

Michel Corrette

Concerto comique „Les Sauvages“ in G Minor

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