Musique de la Chambre du Roi at the Court of Versailles

6 NOVEMBER 2019 

Palazzo Parisio, Naxxar - 7:30pm



Louis de Caix d’Hervelois

Quatrieme Suite 

Prelude – Gavotte – Rondeau – Fantasie – Rondeau – Musette - Caprice 


Antione and Jean-Baptiste Forqueray 

Chaconne in G (La Buisson) 


Robert de Visée 

Suite in G minor (solo theorbo)

Prélude - Allemande - Les Sylvains de Mr. Couperin par Mr. de Visée - La Muzzette - Les Bergeries (François Couperin) 


Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe 

Gavotte I & II Les Pleurs 


Marin Marais 

Tombeau de Ste Colombe 


Marin Marais 

Suite in D major 

Prelude – La Vilageoise – Allemande la familière – Doble – Rondeau

Programme Notes

When Louis XIV decided to move the seat of French government from Paris to Versailles in 1682, he was at the height of his power. The hunting lodge was converted into a magnificent palace, which became the envy of all Europe. The palace and its gardens, and especially the music that was composed for Versailles was widely imitated. Versailles was a major stimulus on some of the most important composers. With Bach’s suites, Handel’s operas and oratorios and Purcell’s music for the theatre are just a few great examples of work which could not have existed without its influence. 


The ‘Sun King’ found a way of combining two of his loves: dancing and having absolute power, by commissioning spectacular opera-ballets which served as propaganda pieces for the monarchy. Sometimes he even cast himself as the Sun-God Apollo. He also commissioned music for his private entertainment, including works for the ceremonies of dressing him and putting him to bed. Marais, Visée, Couperin, and the elder Forqueray were among the many great musicians who provided music for such occasions.


Louis XIV ruled from Versailles until his death in 1715 when he was succeeded by his great-grandson Louis XV. The younger Louis lived his entire life at Versailles. Although the effectiveness of Louis XV as a political leader has been questioned by historians, it is generally agreed that French culture and art reached a high point during his reign. Caix d’Hervelois was one of the many wonderful French composers who flourished during this period.


The composers listed in this evening’s concert were all master viola da gambists who left us a rich legacy of both solo works and with continuo. Prior to the 20th century phenomenon for the revival of Baroque instruments, the viola da gamba was an obsolete instrument which vanished in favour of the more powerful Baroque violins, violas and cellos.


For tonight’s programme Sarah and Pablo bring to life an exciting interpretation of music written for viola da gamba, which adapts itself beautifully to the Baroque viola due to its similar range and texture.

Artist Bios

Pablo Zapico

Pablo Zapico was born in 1983 in the principality of Asturias in Spain. In 2006, he earned the highest honors as he completed his Advanced Studies in Plucked Instruments with Xavier Díaz-Latorre at the Ecola Superior Música de Catalunya (ESMuC) in Barcelona, Spain. The following year he concluded his Formación Continuada studies and, in 2012, earned the degree of Master of Musicology with a specialization in musical training and ancient music from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. He has also participated in Master Classes offered by prestigious performers including Laura M. Pustilnik, Rolf Lislevand, Eduardo Egüez, John Griffiths, Juan Carlos Rivera Pecellin, Juan Carlos de Mulder, Luca Pianca, Toyohiko Satoh, and Hopkinson Smith.


Pablo has performed as a continuo player and soloist in Forma Antiqva, OSPA, Oviedo Filarmonía, El Concierto Español, Estil Concertant, La Real Cámara, Musica Ficta, La Reverencia, La Ritirata, Cappella Mediterranea, 

Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, Accademia del Piacere, La Hispanoflamenca, Académie Baroque Européenne d’Ambronay, European Union Baroque Orchestra, and the Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin, among others.


He has recorded over a dozen albums for labels such as Musifactor, Arsis, Spanish Society of Musicology (SEdeM), Vanitas, and the prestigious Munich, Germany label Winter & Winter.


He has also been recorded live for Radio France Musique, BBC, RTVE, and Catalunya Música. He has performed in the most important festivals on the Iberian peninsula and has toured internationally in a number of countries including Brazil, Bolivia, Australia, Singapore, UK,

Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Republic of Serbia, Holland, Greece, China, Japan, Peru, Chile, Turkey, Panama, Mexico, and Colombia.


From 2009 till present he has been a professor at the Academia de Música Antigua de Gijón (AMAG) and from 2012 till present, a professor at the CIEM Federico Moreno Torroba of Madrid.

Sarah Spiteri

Sarah started her musical studies in Malta, where she obtained the Licentiate from the Trinity College, London. In 1990, having won the Bice Mizzi Vassallo Music Competition, she furthered her studies in Lyon, France and attended Master Classes at the Accademia Chigiana, Siena, with violinist Boris Belkin and in the UK with violist Martin Outram.


Sarah has worked with Malta’s foremost composers and has a number of CDs to her credit, featuring works by Charles Camilleri, Nicolo Isouard and P. P. Bugeja. She has also recorded the CDs War Cantata, a work by John Cremona and Charles Camilleri, Mal-Kant tal-Baħar, a song cycle by Joe Friggieri and Charles Camilleri, and Ġesti playing works by Camilleri, Donizzetti and Ibert together with harpist Ann Marie Camilleri Podestà. 

Sarah is highly active in chamber music ensembles both as violinist and violist. In August 2004 she founded ProMuzika Ensemble with whom she toured in Germany, and performed in Helsinki, Finland, the Theatre of the Estates in Prague, Tunisia, UK and Italy.


She is a founding member and the current director of ViBE - the Valletta Baroque Ensemble, which is the resident ensemble of the prestigious Valletta International Baroque Festival. She has performed alongside established Baroque specialists such as violinist Catherine Martin, theorbists David Miller, Eligio Quintero and Pablo Zapico, cornet and trumpet player Thomas Richard, organist Stefano Molardi and soprano Dame Emma Kirkby. Together with ViBE, Sarah has toured Spain, France, Germany and the UK.


Upcoming performances with ViBE include Biber’s Requiem and Abos’ Stabat Mater. Sarah plays a 1799 Geissenhof viola.



Pablo Zapico


Baroque Viola

Sarah Spiteri

© Festivals Malta - 2019