MARIN MARAIS (1656 - 1728)
Marin Marais, player of the viola da gamba and pupil of Sainte-Colombe, has won much wider modern fame through the cinema (he and his music were strongly featured in the 1991 film Tous les matins du monde). In his own time he was accounted the principal virtuoso of the day on the instrument for which he wrote a number of compositions. He studied with Lully and, as a member of the French royal musical establishment, performed with him.
The instrumental music of Marais consists chiefly of his various collections of pieces for one or more viols, which include the now well-known Variations on Les Folies d’Espagne.
The four operas of Marais were written under the influence of Lully and enjoyed contemporary success.