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Most of us are somewhat familiar with the French baroque compositions of Lully (if at all); but organists are very familiar with a host of French baroque composers, Louis-Nicholas Cleramault (1674-1749) among them. Note that he has practically the same dates as J. S. Bach, with whom he shared a love for progressive dissonances.

His Suite Du Premier Ton is performed with some frequency, and the Gran Plein Jeu, (a prelude and fugue), arranged here for brass quintet, is the first movement.

Perhaps a word about French baroque organ music is in order — first, it is highly ornate, with lots and lots of embellishments which may or may not be necessary for a brass performance (your call). Secondly the tradition in France had been that fugues were always played on the nasal reed stops (oboe, bassoon), and occasional chromatic clashes (say, and A played against an Ab if the lines called for it) were considered just fine and part of the style — there are a couple of these “spicy” moments in this fugue.

Gran Plein Jeu from Suite Du Premier Ton is unrecorded, and the mP3 is a FINALE MIDI audio extract (not the greatest sound but you get the idea of how the song goes)


The Gran Plein Jeu from Suite Du Premier Ton - arranged for brass quintet, is unpublished and available for $18.00 for hard copy, or $15.00 for the pdfs.

Grand Plein for Quintet - Lully/Volkmann
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