ANTOINE FORQUERAY (1672 - 1745)
Antoine Forqueray, described as crabbed, crotchety and odd in character, won an unrivalled reputation as a player of the bass viol and was appointed Musicien ordinaire de la chambre du roy in 1689. His wife, a harpsichord-player, accompanied him in recitals, but the couple separated in 1710, eleven years after the birth of their son Jean-Baptiste. It is to this last that the publication and possibly the arrangement for harpsichord of music by his father is credited. By 1730 Antoine Forqueray had retired to Nantes, where he died in 1745. He had been succeeded at court by Jean-Baptiste in 1742.
Antoine Forqueray’s harpsichord suites, published by his son in 1747 as Pièces de viole mises en pièces de clavecin, explore the resonant lower register of the French harpsichord of the time, each movement bearing a characteristic title, often chosen to honour some contemporary, as in La Couperin or La Régente.
Forqueray’s technique as a virtuoso of the bass viol is reflected in the 29 pieces published by his son in 1747.