Jean-Marie Leclair

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Jean-Marie Leclair

Jean-Marie Leclair l'aîné, also known as Jean-Marie Leclair the Elder, (10 May 1697 – 22 October 1764) was a Baroque violinist and composer. He is considered to have founded the French violin school. His brothers Jean-Marie Leclair the younger (1703–77), Pierre Leclair (1709–84) and Jean-Benoît Leclair (1714–after 1759) were also musicians.

Biography[edit]

Leclair was born in Lyon, but left to study dance and the violin in Turin. In 1716, he married Marie-Rose Casthanie, a dancer, who died about 1728. Leclair had returned to Paris in 1723, where he played at the Concert Spirituel, the main semi-public music series. His works included several sonatas for flute and basso continuo.

In 1730, Leclair married for the second time. His new wife was the engraver Louise Roussel, who prepared for printing all his works from Opus 2 onward. Named ordinaire de la musique by Louis XV in 1733, Leclair resigned in 1737 after a clash with Guidon over control of the musique du Roy.

Leclair was then engaged by the Princess of Orange – a fine harpsichordist and former student of Handel – and from 1738 until 1743, served three months annually at her court in Leeuwarden, working in The Hague as a private maestro di cappella for the remainder of the year. He returned to Paris in 1743. His only opera Scylla et Glaucus was first performed in 1746 and has been revived in modern times. From 1740 until his death in Paris, he served the Duke of Gramont, in whose private theatre at Puteaux were staged works to which Leclair is known to have contributed. They included, in particular, a lengthy divertissement for the comedy Les danger des épreuves (1749) and one complete entrée, Apollon et Climène, for the opéra-ballet by various authors, Les amusemens lyriques (1750).[1]

Leclair was renowned as a violinist and as a composer. He successfully drew upon all of Europe's national styles. Many suites, sonatas, and concertos survive along with his opera, while some vocal works, ballets, and other stage music is lost.

Murder[edit]

Performed by New Comma Baroque

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In 1758, after the break-up of his second marriage, Leclair purchased a small house in a dangerous Parisian neighborhood, where he was found stabbed to death on October 23, 1764. Although the murder remains a mystery, there is a possibility that his ex-wife may have been behind it – her motive being financial gain – although the strongest suspicion rests on his nephew, Guillaume-François Vial.

List of works[edit]

  • Op. 1 No. 1 – Violin Sonata in A minor;
  • Op. 1 No. 2 – Violin Sonata in C major;
  • Op. 1 No. 3 – Violin Sonata in B flat major;
  • Op. 1 No. 4 – Violin Sonata in D major;
  • Op. 1 No. 5 – Violin Sonata in G major;
  • Op. 1 No. 6 – Violin Sonata in E minor;
  • Op. 1 No. 7 – Violin Sonata in F major;
  • Op. 1 No. 8 – Violin Sonata in G major;
  • Op. 1 No. 9 – Violin Sonata in A major;
  • Op. 1 No. 10 – Violin Sonata in D major;
  • Op. 1 No. 11 – Violin Sonata in B flat major;
  • Op. 1 No. 12 – Violin Sonata in B minor;
  • Op. 2 No. 1 – Violin Sonata in E minor;
  • Op. 2 No. 2 – Violin Sonata in F major;
  • Op. 2 No. 3 – Violin Sonata in C major;
  • Op. 2 No. 4 – Violin Sonata in A major;
  • Op. 2 No. 5 – Violin Sonata in G major;
  • Op. 2 No. 6 – Violin Sonata in D major;
  • Op. 2 No. 7 – Violin Sonata in B flat major;
  • Op. 2 No. 8 – Violin Sonata in D major;
  • Op. 2 No. 9 – Violin Sonata in E major;
  • Op. 2 No. 10 – Violin Sonata in C minor;
  • Op. 2 No. 11 – Violin Sonata in B minor;
  • Op. 2 No. 12 – Violin Sonata in G minor;
  • Op. 3 No. 1 – Sonata for 2 violins in G major;
  • Op. 3 No. 2 – Sonata for 2 violins in A major;
  • Op. 3 No. 3 – Sonata for 2 violins in C major;
  • Op. 3 No. 4 – Sonata for 2 violins in F major;
  • Op. 3 No. 5 – Sonata for 2 violins in E minor;
  • Op. 3 No. 6 – Sonata for 2 violins in D major;
  • Op. 4 No. 1 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in D minor;
  • Op. 4 No. 2 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in B flat major;
  • Op. 4 No. 3 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in D minor;
  • Op. 4 No. 4 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in F major;
  • Op. 4 No. 5 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in G minor;
  • Op. 4 No. 6 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in A major;
  • Op. 5 No. 1 – Violin Sonata in A major;
  • Op. 5 No. 2 – Violin Sonata in F major;
  • Op. 5 No. 3 – Violin Sonata in E minor;
  • Op. 5 No. 4 – Violin Sonata in B flat majo;r
  • Op. 5 No. 5 – Violin Sonata in B minor;
  • Op. 5 No. 6 – Violin Sonata in C minor;
  • Op. 5 No. 7 – Violin Sonata in A minor;
  • Op. 5 No. 8 – Violin Sonata in D major;
  • Op. 5 No. 9 – Violin Sonata in E major;
  • Op. 5 No. 10 – Violin Sonata in C major;
  • Op. 5 No. 11 – Violin Sonata in G minor;
  • Op. 5 No. 12 – Violin Sonata in G major;
  • Op. 6 – Récréation de musique in D major;
  • Op. 7 No. 1 – Violin Concerto in D minor (1737; homotonal, with all movements in D minor);
  • Op. 7 No. 2 – Violin Concerto in D major;
  • Op. 7 No. 3 – Violin Concerto in C major;
  • Op. 7 No. 4 – Violin Concerto in F major;
  • Op. 7 No. 5 – Violin Concerto in A minor;
  • Op. 7 No. 6 – Violin Concerto in A major;
  • Op. 8 – Récréation de musique in G minor;
  • Op. 9 No. 1 – Violin Sonata in A major;
  • Op. 9 No. 2 – Violin Sonata in E minor;
  • Op. 9 No. 3 – Violin Sonata in D major;
  • Op. 9 No. 4 – Violin Sonata in A major;
  • Op. 9 No. 5 – Violin Sonata in A minor;
  • Op. 9 No. 6 – Violin Sonata in D major;
  • Op. 9 No. 7 – Violin Sonata in G major;
  • Op. 9 No. 8 – Violin Sonata in C major;
  • Op. 9 No. 9 – Violin Sonata in E flat majo;r
  • Op. 9 No. 10 – Violin Sonata in F sharp minor;
  • Op. 9 No. 11 – Violin Sonata in G minor;
  • Op. 9 No. 12 – Violin Sonata in G major;
  • Op. 10 No. 1 – Violin Concerto in B flat major
  • Op. 10 No. 2 – Violin Concerto in A major;
  • Op. 10 No. 3 – Violin Concerto in D major;
  • Op. 10 No. 4 – Violin Concerto in F major;
  • Op. 10 No. 5 – Violin Concerto in E minor;
  • Op. 10 No. 6 – Violin Concerto in G minor;
  • Op. 11 – Scylla et Glaucus, tragédie en musique with prologue and five acts (opera, fp. 1746);
  • Op. 12 No. 1 – Sonata for 2 violins in B minor;
  • Op. 12 No. 2 – Sonata for 2 violins in E major;
  • Op. 12 No. 3 – Sonata for 2 violins in D major;
  • Op. 12 No. 4 – Sonata for 2 violins in A major;
  • Op. 12 No. 5 – Sonata for 2 violins in G minor;
  • Op. 12 No. 6 – Sonata for 2 violins in B flat major;
  • Divertissement for Le danger des épreuves, a 1 act comedy given at the Duke of Gramont's theatre at Puteaux on 19 June 1749 [lost];[2]
  • Apollon et Climène, second entrée of Les amusements lyriques, given at the Duke of Gramont's theatre at Puteaux, in February 1750 [lost];[2]
  • Incidental airs and dances for various theatrical productions (1751-1764) [lost];[2]
  • Op. 13 No. 1 – Ouvertura for 2 violins & continuo in G major;
  • Op. 13 No. 2 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in D major;
  • Op. 13 No. 3 – Ouvertura for 2 violins & continuo in D major;
  • Op. 13 No. 4 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in B minor;
  • Op. 13 No. 5 – Ouvertura for 2 violins & continuo in A major;
  • Op. 13 No. 6 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in G minor;
  • Op. 14 – Trio for 2 violins & continuo in A major;
  • Op. 15 – Violin Sonata in F major.

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Pougin, p. 206; Sadler, p. 1118.
  2. ^ a b c Catalogue of Leclair's works at Musicologie.org.
Bibliography

External links[edit]