Little is known of Robert de Viseé (1655–1733). Even his birth and death places and dates are uncertain.What we do know is that this fine collection of Suites was published in Paris in 1716. It is, for its time and place, typically stylish music, often with a melancholy tinge.
The options available to a modern-day performer are wide, and our talented trio of Italian musicians here have opted for the most intimate possible scoring of recorder, theorbo and viola da gamba: a very French answer to the English viol consort, one might say. One contemporary manual advises would-be performers of such music: "If you want to play them completely, you will absolutely need a viola da gamba and a theorbo or a harpsichord, or both together."
The appetite for French music of the pre-Baroque era has never been higher: part of the early-music renaissance, naturally, and of its explosion on records, but also for the particular qualities of gentility, grace and elegance which this music embodies.